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Aye (7) Ashlawn Dendrobium Emazia Ermica Pap Sculgief Sevae Toerana V
Nay (0)
Abstain (2) Antenion Cerdenia

Antenion has been confirmed as Culture Minister.

Senators, we have begun debate on the Congressional Expansion/Reduction Constitutional Amendment.

Congressional Expansion/Reduction Constitutional Amendment

Author: Marvinville
Sponsor: Marvinville

Preamble:

Recognizing that the Constitution requires motions to expand or reduce the size of Congress,
Noticing how the region has historically used legislation to expand or reduce the size of Congress,

Congress hereby agrees,

To amend Article II, Section I of the Thaecian Constitution:

Section I - The Legislative branch of government, also known as congress, shall be a bicameral legislature. The lower chamber shall be called the House of Commons (also known as the Commons or simply the House) and shall consist of at least seven members of parliament (MPs). The upper chamber shall be called the Senate and shall consist of at least five senators. In order to expand or reduce the number of seats in either chamber of Congress, a piece of legislation motion, requiring two-thirds approval in each individual Chamber of Congress, is required. Following the passage of the legislation motion through both Chambers of Congress, the legislation motion shall be sent to the citizens and voted on through a region-wide referendum, requiring three fifths support of voting citizens in order to pass. The expansion or reduction must always result in an odd number of seats in a chamber.


Read dispatch

Support, I'm all for simplifying our laws and this is a step towards that

This is a completely pointless amendment. Against

Let's be real, this doesn't deserve its own amendment.

I can see why some would prefer the legislation system over the motion system, but after having just passed the reduction people were "begging" to happen I think we can all agree that it won't be happening again anytime in the near future. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it just doesn't deserve its own amendment, we can adress this is in a constitutional convention, which is likely to happen in the near future.

I ask the Chair that we move on to more important matters.

Senators, we have begun voting on the Congressional Expansion/Reduction Constitutional Amendment.

Congressional Expansion/Reduction Constitutional Amendment

Author: Marvinville
Sponsor: Marvinville

Preamble:

Recognizing that the Constitution requires motions to expand or reduce the size of Congress,
Noticing how the region has historically used legislation to expand or reduce the size of Congress,

Congress hereby agrees,

To amend Article II, Section I of the Thaecian Constitution:

Section I - The Legislative branch of government, also known as congress, shall be a bicameral legislature. The lower chamber shall be called the House of Commons (also known as the Commons or simply the House) and shall consist of at least seven members of parliament (MPs). The upper chamber shall be called the Senate and shall consist of at least five senators. In order to expand or reduce the number of seats in either chamber of Congress, a piece of legislation motion, requiring two-thirds approval in each individual Chamber of Congress, is required. Following the passage of the legislation motion through both Chambers of Congress, the legislation motion shall be sent to the citizens and voted on through a region-wide referendum, requiring three fifths support of voting citizens in order to pass. The expansion or reduction must always result in an odd number of seats in a chamber.


Read dispatch

Aye

Cerdenia (IND)
Dendrobium (SOL)
Emazia (IND)
Ermica (TCU)
Pap Sculgief (IND)
Sevae (IND)
Toerana V (IND)

Congrats to the chairman on an entire day lost debating + voting on this, with some more hours to come.

Abstain

Aye, wasn't able to vote yesterday sorry for the holdup.

Aye

Results:
Aye (5) Ashlawn Emazia Ermica Pap Sculgief Sevae
Nay (2) Cerdenia Toerana V
Abstain (1) Dendrobium

The Amendment has passed.

Senators, we have begun debate on The Electoral Commission Act of 2021.

The Electoral Commission Act of 2021

Authors: Marvinville, Brototh & Taungu
Sponsor: Marvinville
As amended by: Rhyssuan Peoples & Primo Order

Preamble:

To reform and revise the Electoral Commission and for other purposes.

Congress hereby agrees,

  • Section I - The Electoral Commissioner is responsible for organizing and conducting all elections and referenda in an impartial, timely manner.

    • I. The Commissioner shall have the ability to nominate a Deputy Commissioner and up to 3 Assistant Commissioners, with approval by the President.

    • II. When the Electoral Commissioner position is vacant, the Deputy Commissioner shall serve as the Acting Commissioner until a new Electoral Commissioner has been confirmed by the House of Commons.

    • III. If the Electoral Commissioner deems the performance of their Deputy or an Assistant unsatisfactory, they can recommend their dismissal to the President, and if approved, the person in question is immediately removed from their position.

  • Section II - The Electoral Commissioner shall be nominated by the President and confirmed by a simple majority vote in the House of Commons.

    • I. The Electoral Commissioner shall serve a term of 4 months, at which point the President may choose to renominate them, or nominate someone else.

  • Section III - If any member of the Electoral Commission is a candidate in an election, they do not have the right to participate in the election process as defined by this law.

    • I. Should the Electoral Commissioner be a candidate in any election, the Deputy Electoral Commissioner shall be in charge of running said election.

  • Section IV - If the Electoral Commissioner is suspected of breaking Thaecian laws, mismanaged an election, or abused their position to guarantee a particular outcome in an election, they may be liable to impeachment by Congress.

    • I. In order to impeach the Electoral Commissioner, an Article(s) of Impeachment, in the form of a piece of legislation, must be approved by a two thirds majority vote in the House of Commons, followed by a two thirds majority vote in the Senate. Following the votes in Congress, the Electoral Commissioner shall then be sent to an official trial before the High Court. The House of Commons may also hold a vote to send its own representative to argue in favour of the impeachment before the court, with the representative not needing to be a Member of Parliament himself. If the House of Commons does not choose a representative, it shall be the duty of the Justice Ministry to provide for a state attorney to argue in favour of the impeachment before the court. If the court rules in favour of the impeachment, The Deputy Election Commissioner shall serve as the Acting Commissioner until a new Electoral Commissioner has been confirmed by the House of Commons.

    • II. If an Electoral Commissioner has been successfully impeached and removed from office, they may not be nominated to the position again.

  • Section I - As per Article VIII, Section III of the Constitution, elections to the Legislature will use the Single Transferable Vote, specifically the Droop formula for calculating quotas in the Single Transferable Vote system and wherein only full votes may be used in the re-calculation of the same, and those to the executive shall use Instant Runoff Voting.

    • I. In the counting of votes, when it comes to re-distributing the surplus of votes over the quota received by a candidate, the Electoral Commissioner shall re-distribute votes by counting the total number of votes over the quota a candidate is, then distributing those votes proportionally to the voters' second-choice candidates.

    • II. In the event of a tie between two or more candidates for a final seat in an election which utilizes the Single Transferable Vote, the Electoral Commissioner shall break the tie as follows: (1) by the number of first place votes gained by the candidates, (2) by the number of overall second place votes gained by the candidates, (3) by the number of overall third place votes gained by the candidates, (4) by utilizing a coin flip, supervised by the Justices wherein a candidate, determined by the Justices, makes a "call" on what side the coin will land on and the winning "side" represents the victor in the election.

    • III. Thaecian voters have the right to not rank any number of candidates if they wish to do so.

  • Section II - Elections for the President, Prime Ministry, and Senate will take place every four months in the General election, which shall be held in the months of March, July, and November. Elections for the House of Commons will take place every two months, in the Midterm and General elections. These elections shall be held in the months of January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    • I. The Candidacy Election Period should end no later than 7 days prior to election day, which is to be determined by the Electoral Commissioner.

  • Section III - Inaugurations following the results of the Presidential, Prime Ministry, Senate, and House of Commons elections, shall always take place on the 10th day of the month in which the election was scheduled for.

    • I. The voting period should start no later than five days before the inauguration date, and no earlier than one week before the inauguration date.

    • II. All General and Midterm elections shall have a voting period that lasts approximately 72 hours.

    • III. The Inauguration may be delayed for up to three days to allow the High Court to verify results. This shall not change when the voting period must start, and when future elections must be held.

    • IV. Should the High Court exceed this time limit purposefully to subvert democracy or due to negligence, this may be grounds for impeachment. If they exceed this time limit because the election results are illegitimate, results may be recounted or a new election must be held.

  • Section IV - Snap elections and special elections shall be exempt from procedures laid out in Sections II and III of this law.

  • Section V - The Electoral Commissioner shall be obligated to hold a special election if a vacancy occurs within the positions of President, Prime Minister, Senate, and House of Commons.

    • I. Should a vacancy occur in the Senate or House of Commons in the 21 days before a Senate or House of Commons election, the Electoral Commissioner shall not be allowed to initiate a by-election for the vacant seat.

    • II. Should a vacancy occur in the office of President or Prime Ministry in the 28 days before a Presidential or Prime Minister election, the Electoral Commissioner shall not be allowed to initiate a by-election for the vacant seat.

  • Section VI - In the event of a vacancy that meets the requirements set by Article II, Section V, the inauguration of the newly elected official to fill the vacancy shall take place no later than 14 days following the date the vacancy occurred.

    • I. The Candidacy Election Period should end no later than 3 days prior to the special election, which is to be determined by the Electoral Commissioner.

    • II. The voting period in a special election must last approximately 48 hours.

    • III. In the event that the vacancy has not been filled by 14 days per Section VI, the Inauguration may be delayed for up to three days to allow the High Court to verify results.

    • IV. Should the High Court exceed this time limit purposefully to subvert democracy or due to negligence, this may be grounds for impeachment. If they exceed this time limit because the election results are illegitimate, results may be recounted or a new election must be held.

  • Section VII - The Electoral Commissioner is responsible for conducting regional referenda.

    • I. The Electoral Commissioner is able to conduct votes on more than one referenda at the same time.

    • II. Regional referendums should be included with General elections, Midterm elections, and special elections if possible.

    • III. Regional referenda votes shall not begin within 7 days of a General or Midterm election.

    • IV. Regional referenda votes must start no later than 14 days once the referenda has passed Congress, unless restricted by Article II, Section VII, Subsection III of this law.

    • V. Voters have the right to leave the referenda question blank if they wish to do so.

  • Section I - The High Court of Thaecia, by a unanimous vote of the Justices who vote in any decision on verification, shall verify the results of regional elections and referenda.

    • I. In the event that a High Court Justice is a candidate in an election, they do not have the right to participate in the verification process of the election they are running in, but they may participate in the verification process of any other election which they are not a candidate in.

  • Section II - The High Court shall be given the power to deem results “illegal”, should it be confirmed that there was at least one of the following:

    • I. Electoral fraud as defined by prospective Thaecian laws.

    • II. A candidate loses their citizenship status through the course of the election.

    • III. A voter that does not meet citizenship requirements casts a ballot during the course of the election.

    • IV. A voter loses their citizenship during the election after having already voted.

    • IV. The Electoral Commissioner violated any section of this law.

    • V. A mistake by the Electoral Commissioner, such as the counting or transferring of votes, with the possibility of changing electoral results.

  • Section III - Should electoral results be deemed “illegal”, the court shall be given the power to either allow for a recount of the results if possible under specific circumstances, or call for a new election if the violations do not allow for a simple recount to be enough to correct the results.

  • Section I - The Electoral Commissioner shall inaugurate the President, Prime Minister, and Members of Parliament on the House of Commons RMB. They shall also inaugurate Senators on the Thaecian Senate RMB. This shall be done with a public statement on the applicable RMB, stating whom has won office, by the Electoral Commissioner. Once done, the individual shall take their office.

    • I. This statement must be made within the timespan provided Article II Section II and Article II Section VI.

    • II. Inauguration shall be defined as the day and/or moment an individual takes office following an election.

  • Section II - When a legislative chamber is inaugurated following an election, the Electoral Commissioner shall chair the chamber until a Speaker/Chair has been elected as per Article V. For this duration of time, they will have the permission to speak on the House of Commons and the Thaecian Senate RMB.

  • Section I - At the beginning of each term and whenever the Speakership or the Chairpersonship is vacant, the Electoral Commissioner shall initiate a standing period in which any sitting legislator may place their name forward as a candidate for the vacant chamber leadership position.

    • I. The standing period must begin by at most 48 hours after a vacancy in the leadership position, or after the swearing-in of legislators end. It should end after no later than 24 hours, or after each legislator in their chamber has declared their intent or non-intent to stand, whichever comes first.

    • II. Should a vacancy occur before the upcoming Senate or House of Commons election, any current business in that chamber shall be tabled to a later date until the next Chair/Speaker is elected.

  • Section II - Once the standing period elapses, the Electoral Commissioner will begin a discussion and statements period in which the declared leadership candidates may address their respective chamber and sitting legislators in their respective chambers may voice their views of consternation, confidence, or field any questions to the declared candidates.

    • I. The discussion and statements period must begin immediately after the standing period elapses and should last at least 12 hours and continue no longer than 48 hours.

  • Section III - Following the discussion and statements period, the Electoral Commissioner shall initiate a vote in which any sitting legislator may vote in their respective chambers;

    • I. Legislators may cast a vote either for their preferred declared candidate, which can be done by simply stating their nation name, or "Abstain" indicating an abstention from voting that is discounted from the overall total number of votes cast.

    • II. Should there be only one declared candidate for either chamber leadership position, there shall be three voting options, an "Aye" vote declares confidence in the candidate, a "Nay" vote declares no confidence for the candidate, and "Abstain" indicates an abstention from voting that is discounted from the overall total number of votes cast.

    • III. The vote should last at least 24 hours after the vote started or until each legislator has been able to cast their ballot.

    • IV. As per Article II, Section III of the Constitution, should a candidate receive a simple majority vote of 50%+1 amongst the sitting legislators in their respective chamber, that candidate shall assume the vacant position at vote. If no candidate receives a simple majority, the procedure set out in Article II, Section III of the Constitution must be followed.

  • Section I - The Electoral Commission and all individuals who have served in the commission is forbidden from publishing any individual's ballot without proof that the individual in question consented to have their ballot made public.

    • I. This applies to ballots cast in both elections and referenda.

  • Section II - A ballot being made public shall be defined as the following: "disclosure of any ballot information in such a manner that could provide indication to the identity of an individual voter to any individual who is not presently serving as Electoral Commissioner, Deputy Electoral Commissioner, an Assistant Electoral Commissioner, or a Thaecian High Court Justice, unrelated to their positions as part of the confirmation of the electoral process".

  • Section III - The punishment for violation will be left to the discretion of the High Court; however, it will be mandated for the Electoral Commissioner to step down if they are found to be in violation of this law, in addition to whatever punishment is deemed fit by the Thaecian High Court.

  • Section I - This act hereby repeals L.R. 022 The Electoral Commission and Reform Act.


Read dispatch

Let me go through this bill section by section:

Article 1:
Marvinville, what happens if the indictment/removal from office is overturned and it turns out that, for whatever reason, the evidence seems to have been miscalculated. Would they be re-eligible for office again? Furthermore, what does it mean to "participate" in an election process? As it doesn't seem to be defined, does that mean that the EC can't run for election or that they can be a candidate but can't exercise their power during that period? Shouldn't this be at least clarified? Also, what if the Deputy EC is also running in that election?

Article 2:
Why the difference between the PM/Presidential and Congressional elections? Why is it "no later" rather than "no earlier"? Wouldn't this allow the EC to simply end the CDP extremely early? Also, why 3 days? And why any maximum latest date at all? "If possible" - does that mean it is up to the judgement of the EC?

Article 3:
I don't see any problems here.

Article 4:
Are abstain votes just not counted as votes at all? If so, then why should people vote abstain rather than simply not voting? Regarding the 50%+1 requirement, while there may be some sort of court precedent proving me wrong here, is it not the case that this may end up creating problematic situations. For example, 50% of the Senate is 4.5 people. 50%+1 would be 5.5, rounded up to 6. This means that 2/3rds of the Senate would be required for a speaker. I understand that in larger chambers, such as those used IRL, where I assume this was taken from, this is less of a problem (a chamber with 500 legislators would have this requirement be 251, and be a mere 50.2% rather than the 66.7% here in the Senate.), so I do hope this will be rectified or that I will at least be pointed to a precedent where 50%+1 is mentioned to mean, in effect, 50% in a system where there are an even number of voters (seeing as abstentions are treated as non-existent) or a simple rounding up in a system where there are an odd number of voters.

Articles 5 and 6:
Both alright to me.

After the answer to this is given, I will make an amendment with all my remaining problems to be solved.

Onto the next thing for the Senate to rubber stamp I suppose. One day we'll read what we pass.

Speaking of which:
Article I
Article I, Section IV's opening statement state that if the electoral commissioner breaks the law they "may be liable to be impeached by Congress." Imo, it should be much more upfront

Section IV, Sub-Section I - Do we now have the process for impeach defined anywhere else? Surely this is not a unique process and we can just reference the method for impeachment in the constitution.
Changing Subsection I to:
"The Electoral Commissioner may be impeached in the manner proscribed by the Presidential Impeachment, in Article I, Section VIII, Sub-Section I in the Constitution. Upon the successful impeachment of the Electoral Commissioner, the deputy Electoral Commissioner shall serve as Acting Commissioner until until a new Electoral Commissioner has been confirmed by the House of Commons."

Drifting off-topic, Impeachment in the constitution needs to be simplified so this can be done in the future. All the impeachment Sub-Sections are nearly identical, and could easily be condensed into a single piece for easier, worry free referencing.

Sub-Section II: I dislike the blocking for life idea, given an Impeachable offense isn't clearly defined in this act. Particularly the "suspect" part. I think that Banned for life should be on option on the table, but that Congress and the Court should be more flexible with the punishment given, or rather, the court should give the punishment, not have the Near-Nuclear Option handed to them off the bat.

Article II
The opening line references the constitution, which furthers my previous point about Impeachment
Section I: No problems, although I skimmed through this part. I'm not entirely sure how elections run behind the scenes here and voting methods used, so I'll let someone else make sure this act isn't trying to slide in a change to the voting system under our noses.

Section II: Don't give the election a name. If the populous wishes to address the 4-Month Elections as the "General Election" then they can, but there's no reason to define that in the law itself. Scrap it. Likewise for the "midterms." It's a horrible attempt to mix British/American terminology for elections and it should be removed entirely to give Thaecia a clean slate to build off of terminology wise.

Moving onto the important parts, I believe that the Day the election is supposed to start on should be legally defined, as to not give the Electoral Commission literally an entire month to hold an election. That will result in inconsistency in term lengths if handed poorly, and that is not something we want.

I'll propose a simple amendment to fix this inconsistency issue. The date is currently just a placeholder, but I'm happy for it to start on the 3rd:

From:
"Section II - Elections for the President, Prime Ministry, and Senate will take place every four months in the General election, which shall be held in the months of March, July, and November. Elections for the House of Commons will take place every two months, in the Midterm and General elections. These elections shall be held in the months of January, March, May, July, September, and November. "
To
"Section II - Elections for the President, Prime Ministry, and Senate will take place every four months, which shall start on the 3rd day of the months of March, July, and November. Elections for the House of Commons will take place every two months. These elections start on the 3rd day of the months of January, March, May, July, September, and November."
It does the same thing, just mandates a start time and helps everything to slot in logically, so Thaecians know when to expect things to start/end.
No, it isn't time specific and still gives the EC a day's worth of lee-way. That should be enough time to open noms.

Sub-Section I: Seriously, we're defining it against other days in the future that aren't legally defined and are legally allowing the EC to close nominations "early"??? Seriously people? You trust your system way too much.

If you want it to last for 7 Days, say it.
I think a 7 day Noms period is a tad excessive, so my amendment to this has proposed 5 days.
It should be changed from this:
"The Candidacy Election Period should end no later than 7 days prior to election day, which is to be determined by the Electoral Commissioner"
To This:
"The Candidacy Election Period will end 5 days after the beginning of the Election."
Paired with the prior amendment, this simply would mean that the Election starts on the 3rd, and the Noms close on the 8th. Easy to follow, easy to understand.

Section III: Okay People, so we define this silly inauguration day where we take a meaningless oath, but we don't define the days the election is supposed to be held on. Ya'll are inconsistent as hell i stg.

Firstly, scrap Inauguration. It's a silly Americanism that should be scrapped and just gets in the way of the Legislative doing its job. It does nothing but slow down the start of a new term, and for the short 2 month terms of the House this is a necessity to scrap. Last thing we need is some inactive candidate not being inaugurated for a week so the house looses 1/8th of its entire term time. That's not time that can be lost when the Legislative has stuff to do.

Onto Proposals:
Merge Sections II and III, with the removal of Inauguration, you can keep all of the election process stuff in a single section for simplification.
My Proposal has it read as follows:
"Sub-Section II -The Voting period shall start 5 days from the beginning of the election, after the end of the Candidacy Election Period, and shall last for 72 Hours. Any ballots submitted 72 Hours after start of the Voting Period shall be discarded."
No more second guessing of "oh does this one last for 72 hours, or is it 75 hours, or what?" The ending sentence also covers if the fact that the EC won't be bang on exact, and that's fine. This still gives the EC the leeway it needs to do its job, while not giving it the legal powers to significantly change the timings of the election.
"Sub-Section III - After the end of the Voting Period, the High Court may take up to 3 days to verify the results. Upon Verification by the High Court, the elected officials will immediately assume their elected positions, as per the verified results."
This still gives the court 3 days to verify the results

"Sub-Section IV - Should the High Court exceed this time limit purposefully to subvert democracy or due to negligence, this may be grounds for impeachment. If they exceed this time limit because the election results are illegitimate, results may be recounted or a new election must be held."

I'm fine with this as it is, although it doesn't cover what happens if the court just doesn't do anything, can the EC go over their head if they fail to respond? I genuinely don't have an answer to that, so that's up for someone else to decide.

Section IV: Nononononononono. Snap elections are not grounds to through out predefined procedures, they are elections in their own right. Also, this is the only time a "snap" election is referenced, they are referenced as "special elections" everywhere else. Some consistency would be nice. I propose merging Sections IV and V, renaming it to "Section III" for consistency reasons, and changing it to this:
(The proposal will be the section in full, no commentary in-between)

"Section IV - The Electoral Commissioner shall be obligated to hold a special election if a vacancy occurs within the positions of President, Prime Minister, Senate, and House of Commons.

Sub-Section I: Special elections will follow the same procedures defined in Section II

Sub-Section II. Should a vacancy occur in the Senate or House of Commons in the 21 days before a Senate or House of Commons election, the Electoral Commissioner shall not be allowed to initiate a special election for the vacant seat.
Sub-Section III. Should a vacancy occur in the office of President or Prime Ministry in the 28 days before a Presidential or Prime Minister election, the Electoral Commissioner shall not be allowed to initiate a by-election for the vacant seat"
Only Major changes for I and II (now II and III) was changing "By-Election" to "Special Election."
"By-Election" was the third different term used for the same thing in this section alone. God forbid I have to do this to standardize the entire piece of legislation.

Section VI: Scrap it. No need to make elections shorter because it's not a regularly scheduled one.

Section VII: Rename to Section IV, for consistency.

Scrap Sub-Section II - No reason to delay a vote because there is an election soon, it only slows down the legislative process and overwhelms Thaecians when they have to elect 2 entire Legislative branches, their entire executive, and then vote on whether they should pass this major change in the region's legislature. No one can seriously expect a casual Thaecian to do all of that within 72 hours.

Sub-Section III: Rename to II, as per previous proposal, change "General of Midterm" to "Regularly Scheduled"

Rename Sub-Section IV to III

Rename Sub-Section V to IV.

Consistency for those two.

Article III
I've been doing this for about 40-45 minutes now, I hope these are nicer lmao.

I actually have no issue with this one

Article IV

Scrap it, Inauguration is dumb and a waste of time. Already said this.

Article V
Renumber to become "Article IV" - Consistency.

Section I:
Sub-Section I:
Rewrite from:
"The standing period must begin by at most 48 hours after a vacancy in the leadership position, or after the swearing-in of legislators end. It should end after no later than 24 hours, or after each legislator in their chamber has declared their intent or non-intent to stand, whichever comes first."
To:
"The standing period must begin by at most 24 hours after a vacancy in the leadership position, or after the verification of the votes by the High Court. It should end after no later than 24 hours, or after each legislator in their chamber has declared their intent or non-intent to stand."
Sub-Section II:
"II. Should a vacancy occur before the upcoming Senate or House of Commons election, any current business in that chamber shall be tabled to a later date until the next Chair/Speaker is elected."
There is always an "Upcoming" Election. Scrap it.

No Issue with the rest of the Article

Article VI
Renumber to Article V, as per my previous recommendations

No Problems.

Article VII
Renumber to Article VI, as per my previous recommendations

I can't really dispute this haha - No Issues
------------------------------------------------------------------
Closing Notes
I'm a bit of a mess when it comes to critiques, I write as I think, so it can vary. I will provide the chair with a comprehensive set of proposed amendments, as some only make sense with the others, and changes I wish to propose for the Senate to vote on within the next 24 Hours, on this RMB, but hopefully sooner.

Personally, I have lots of issues with the current wording of the act, lots of leeway given to the EC which gives them pretty incredible election manipulation powers, power that is simply unnecessary to give. Inaugurations are a waste of time and an outdated "Americanism." The Oath is meaningless, and has literally no legal weight (afaik) in Thaecia. To give it some would be anti-democratic, to keep it would continue to waste the time of Congress, and the Executive.

I have spent on hour on this, please at least read this post this time.

Toerana V wrote:[...]
Section II: Don't give the election a name. If the populous wishes to address the 4-Month Elections as the "General Election" then they can, but there's no reason to define that in the law itself. Scrap it. Likewise for the "midterms." It's a horrible attempt to mix British/American terminology for elections and it should be removed entirely to give Thaecia a clean slate to build off of terminology wise.

[...]

Section III: Okay People, so we define this silly inauguration day where we take a meaningless oath, but we don't define the days the election is supposed to be held on. Ya'll are inconsistent as hell i stg.

Firstly, scrap Inauguration. It's a silly Americanism that should be scrapped and just gets in the way of the Legislative doing its job. It does nothing but slow down the start of a new term, and for the short 2 month terms of the House this is a necessity to scrap. Last thing we need is some inactive candidate not being inaugurated for a week so the house looses 1/8th of its entire term time. That's not time that can be lost when the Legislative has stuff to do.

[...]

Section IV: Nononononononono. Snap elections are not grounds to through out predefined procedures, they are elections in their own right. Also, this is the only time a "snap" election is referenced, they are referenced as "special elections" everywhere else. Some consistency would be nice.

You haven't read the Constitution of Thaecia in depth.

1) "The intern election to determine the chamber leader(s) shall be hosted by the Electoral Commission after the inauguration of the Congress representatives upon the conclusion of a general election and midterm election for the House of Commons"

The names of the elections are already predefined in the Constitution. If you disagree, go amend it out. It's good in my opinion to have them to distinguish the difference between when everyone is elected - House, Senate, PM, Pres - and when only the House is elected, but I'll resist to complaining that you haben't read the Constitution.

2) "The intern election to determine the chamber leader(s) shall be hosted by the Electoral Commission after the inauguration of the Congress representatives upon the conclusion of a general election and midterm election for the House of Commons"

Inauguration is directly referenced in the Constitution of Thaecia, as such it is a procedure that has to happen. You have also not read the bill, because you are talking about a meaningless oath, which does not even exist in the bill. In fact- the bill removes the very oath you are talking about and replaces it with a simple statement! If you have a problem with inaugurations as a whole you should remove that section from the constitution in your own amendment.

I'll give a suggestion- although this amendment that removed the oath barely passed the House, so I wouldn't recommend it- just replace inaugurations as "inaugurations shall happen immediately as election results are announced" or something. I like having "inaugurations" as a thing, because it defines when the actual entering the office occurs, as to remove any accidents.

More of a fault with the actual bill:
3) "Section V - Should a Congressperson be recalled or resign, a Snap Election shall be held to fill the vacant seat."
"Section II - Elections for the House shall be every two months; elections for the Senate, Prime Ministry and Presidency shall be scheduled for every four months, regardless of if a snap election takes place."

No such thing as a special election actually exists in the Thaecian constitution- they're all called snap elections. The bill is trying to distinguish the difference -which I significantly agree with, and I think this is a problem in the Constitution that it's only called snaps. Regardless, snap elections are defined in the Constitution, and as such it would make much more sense to rename all mentions of special election to snap election. Afterwards we can amend the issue in the constitutional convention.

As such I suggest you withdraw any amendments you might've made there and redo them.

Side note:
Please file your amendments all in individual spoilers like everyone else does. It took me a hard time to find what amendments you're trying to make and I'm still unsure about most of them. I respect there's no official procedure to file an amendment but for everyone's sake- the authors, the Senators, and the general public- please do it like everyone else has done for the past two years.

Emazia wrote:

Article 1:
Marvinville, what happens if the indictment/removal from office is overturned and it turns out that, for whatever reason, the evidence seems to have been miscalculated. Would they be re-eligible for office again? Furthermore, what does it mean to "participate" in an election process? As it doesn't seem to be defined, does that mean that the EC can't run for election or that they can be a candidate but can't exercise their power during that period? Shouldn't this be at least clarified? Also, what if the Deputy EC is also running in that election?

The goal of impeachment is to remove someone from office, as in this case, would be the EC. It describes no way for it to be overturned since it needs support from both chambers of Congress as well as the Court, and if that is the case, then the person shall not continue serving in that office. They would not be eligible to hold the position of EC ever again. To "participate" means that they can not control any part of the election process that they are a candidate in. It would be an issue if the Deputy EC would be running in the election, but I suppose that the Deputy EC could be dismissed and a new one can be hired to run the election.

Emazia wrote:Article 2:
Why the difference between the PM/Presidential and Congressional elections? Why is it "no later" rather than "no earlier"? Wouldn't this allow the EC to simply end the CDP extremely early? Also, why 3 days? And why any maximum latest date at all? "If possible" - does that mean it is up to the judgement of the EC?

Not sure what your seeing relating to difference between PM/Presidential and Congressional elections. "no later" because that is how it is in its current form in L.R. 022 I believe (I may be wrong tho). 3 days for what? If this is for election period, it has always been around 3 days for genelecs and midterms. With the "If possible" question, I suppose you may be referring to the referendum within elections (may be wrong idk). This would ensure that the EC can include regional referendums with elections, which is very common, if they wish to. This would possibly reduce the amount of regional votes we need, by combining elections with regional referendum when they do happen. This also applies to special elections as well.

Emazia wrote:Article 4:
Are abstain votes just not counted as votes at all? If so, then why should people vote abstain rather than simply not voting? Regarding the 50%+1 requirement, while there may be some sort of court precedent proving me wrong here, is it not the case that this may end up creating problematic situations. For example, 50% of the Senate is 4.5 people. 50%+1 would be 5.5, rounded up to 6. This means that 2/3rds of the Senate would be required for a speaker. I understand that in larger chambers, such as those used IRL, where I assume this was taken from, this is less of a problem (a chamber with 500 legislators would have this requirement be 251, and be a mere 50.2% rather than the 66.7% here in the Senate.), so I do hope this will be rectified or that I will at least be pointed to a precedent where 50%+1 is mentioned to mean, in effect, 50% in a system where there are an even number of voters (seeing as abstentions are treated as non-existent) or a simple rounding up in a system where there are an odd number of voters.

Abstain is both defined by L.R. 024 and L.R. 037 as being counted towards the total amount of votes cast. You can find relevant info on "Abstain" vote in said laws.

Additionally, the Constitution defines 50%+1 as being a simple majority vote.

This bill is ultimately pretty good and an improvement on what we currently have, however a lot of things in the bill are very redundant, as they are already defined by the Constitution and shouldn't be mentioned in the law at all. Article VI itself is completely pointless, as the Constitution already protects the right to "Personal Privacy".

This by itself isn't a big deal though. I do have one main issue with this law which should definitely be changed, which is Article III Section I:

"The High Court of Thaecia, by a unanimous vote of the Justices who vote in any decision on verification, shall verify the results of regional elections and referenda."

I've already talked about this before, and I believe it has a chance of causing issues in the future, with one justice being able to hold the entire court back. So yeah overall I think this is bad, so I will be submitting the following amendment, pretty simple:

"The High Court of Thaecia, by a unanimous vote two-thirds majority vote of the Justices who vote in any decision on verification, shall verify the results of regional elections and referenda."

Marvinville wrote:The goal of impeachment is to remove someone from office, as in this case, would be the EC. It describes no way for it to be overturned since it needs support from both chambers of Congress as well as the Court, and if that is the case, then the person shall not continue serving in that office. They would not be eligible to hold the position of EC ever again. To "participate" means that they can not control any part of the election process that they are a candidate in. It would be an issue if the Deputy EC would be running in the election, but I suppose that the Deputy EC could be dismissed and a new one can be hired to run the election.

Not sure what your seeing relating to difference between PM/Presidential and Congressional elections. "no later" because that is how it is in its current form in L.R. 022 I believe (I may be wrong tho). 3 days for what? If this is for election period, it has always been around 3 days for genelecs and midterms. With the "If possible" question, I suppose you may be referring to the referendum within elections (may be wrong idk). This would ensure that the EC can include regional referendums with elections, which is very common, if they wish to. This would possibly reduce the amount of regional votes we need, by combining elections with regional referendum when they do happen. This also applies to special elections as well.

Abstain is both defined by L.R. 024 and L.R. 037 as being counted towards the total amount of votes cast. You can find relevant info on "Abstain" vote in said laws.

Additionally, the Constitution defines 50%+1 as being a simple majority vote.

First, thank you for your response, and thank you for doing it so quickly. The parts in bold are the parts that I'm personally happy with, and won't be proposing any sort of amendments on those things. I'll address the parts not in bold, in the order that they were written.

So, first. Wouldn't it be better if we had one of the AECs take charge instead, in order of seniority?

Second, I was referring to the 21/28 day difference. Is there a reason for that being in the bill?

Third, yes, I was. I do agree with the last point in that paragraph (in bold). Do you believe that giving the EC direct power to schedule it "if possible" on the same ballot as a general/midterm election is a better alternative than legislating a certain amount of time before an election where, if a constitutional amendment is passed, it would automatically ensure the EC puts it on that ballot by law? Or do you believe that Article II, Section VII, Subsection III, already is that in effect?

That's all I have to say for now, thank you for your answers and the quick response once again.

Senators, the above bill has been tabled and we have begun debate on the Constitutional Convention Act.

Author: Islonia
Co-Author: Brototh
Sponsor: Islonia

An Act to establish procedures for calling and conducting a Constitutional Convention.

(1) Congress may convene a Constitutional Convention, where a motion which requires 2/3 supermajority support in each individual chamber, has passed both chambers.

(2) Members of both legislative chambers shall separately elect a Convention Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson by a vote organised by the Electoral Commission using the immediate runoff voting system. They must serve unless they resign, or are removed.

(1) Members of a legislative chamber hold the right for full participation in the Convention.

(2) Citizens of Thaecia who are not members of the legislative chamber shall have access to the Convention to vote on the final articles, and the constitution, whilst limitations on other access shall be dictated by the Convention Chairperson.

(1) The Chairperson is the leader of the Convention, with the Deputy Chairpersons acting as deputy leaders of the Convention.

(2) The Chairperson holds the authority to call the vote on any amendments, articles, and the final constitution, setting time limits on discussions and organising debates.

(3) Any power the Chairperson holds may be delegated to any deputies as they see fit.

(4) Members as described under Art(2)(1) may, with a simple majority, remove the Chairperson.

(5) If the Chairperson is removed, members classed under Art(2)(1) shall appoint another Chairperson via a simple majority vote, who shall serve until they resign or are removed.

(1) The Constitutional Convention shall be held publicly to all Thaecian citizens. Those who are not members as described by Art(2)(1) will be allowed to debate in their own public channel.

(2) The Constitutional Convention shall proceed one article at a time. Once a final article has been approved by the Members of the Convention, it shall go to public vote. Once the full Constitution has been approved by the Members of the Convention, it shall also go to public vote, where it requires a 3/5th majority to pass.

(3) All amendments are entitled to a minimum of 12 hours of debate. They are also entitled to a minimum of 24 hours of vote.

(4) Amendments that relate to the same Article of the Convention may be debated on and voted on at the same time.

(5) The Convention Chairperson shall be forced to call the Convention into recess at least 3 days before elections for the Senate and House of Commons, this excludes snap elections.

(6) If the Chairperson or Deputy lose their seat as a Senator/Member of Parliament for X, a vote shall be held for that position as per Art(1)(2).

(7) Voting on a finalised Article shall last for 48 hours, and voting on the finalised Constitution shall last 72 hours. If successful, the Chair shall declare the formal dissolution of the Constitutional Convention, and the amendment shall be sent to Congress as per the Constitutional Procedure.

(8) The Convention may return to an Article once it has already passed, if it is found there is a problem, or a change should be made.

Read factbook

Cerdenia (IND)
Dendrobium (SOL)
Emazia (IND)
Ermica (TCU)
Pap Sculgief (IND)
Sevae (IND)
Toerana V (IND)

Looks pretty good to me. Not much I have to say about this one.

better than nothing

Questions, notes and maybe Amendments coming Soon™. (Currently don't have the time for it though, so I ask the Chair waits with starting the vote until then.)

As promised:

To already give an idea of what my takes will be about: from my point of view this bill leaves room for a lot of unclarities and confusion, but also some, In my opinion, odd choices. I will mostly list my thoughts in the same order as used in the bill itself.

A1.1: While not necessarily incomplete, this part simply states Congress can pass a motion and then start a convention. Obviously this insinuates for the motion to be a motion meant to start the convention, but nowhere is this stated. Because of that, this motion could quite literally be just about anything. To avoid confusion and loopholes this should be specified.
A1.2 and most of A3: Section 2 of Article 1 states that "Members of both legislative chambers shall separately elect a Convention Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson [...]." Again, insinuation and intention differ, but this time the other way around. Judging by later parts in the bill, I can only assume this Section means to say both Chambers conclude on a single Chair and several (?) Deputy Chairs. Stressing on assume. However, logically speaking, with the way A1.2 is phrased, each Chamber on it's own would elect a Chair, of which only one is eventually chosen in the end. Again, I have to assume the last part, since the rest speaks only of a Chair in singular form. This process should be clarified.
A2.1: The only remark here is that, and apologies for my repetitiveness, this part should be specified. This for the simple reason that it is an exceptionally important part of the bill, by how much it is referenced elsewhere.
A3.3: Another loophole. With the phrasing used, this could also mean, depending on interpretation, which is left very open, that the Deputies themselves and not the Chair personally choose when to take over. I view this simply as something gone unnoticed, but if not, leaving this authority to the Deputies is an odd choice to say the least.
A4 as a whole: This entire part of the bill is very confusing and unclear. I personally think it would be best if parts of this were entirely re-written, but this bill will most likely pass either way, so lets try to solve some issues. Firstly, the timeframes set out are weird. only 12 hours of debate and up to 3 entire days of voting time? That's just rediculous to me if we are being honest. 24 hours should be the bare minimum for a debate as important and large as this. Next, Section 1 speaks of several, seperate, public channels. What does this mean? Will the convention be held on NS, and if so on which RMB? Will it be held on Discord, and if so who will set the server up, or will it be done in Thaecord? I do not know the intentions of the authors here, so I can't give suggestions on how to fix this, other than asking to specify. Thirdly, what in the world does "If the Chairperson or Deputy lose their seat as a Senator/Member of Parliament for X [...]" mean? X? I understand that people losing their seat can't remain to be a formal member of a convention exclusively for Legislators, but this entire Section right now makes little sense.

I am being very critical here, but please don't misunderstand me. As said previously, I think a bill like this is good. There are, I believe, some flaws in the idea behind it inherently, like making it a Legislative-exclusive occasion, and there are certainly some internal flaws of teh bill I laid out here; but in the end, it is a bill that will be good to have around, whether it will be used soon, late, only once, never, or many times.

Changes Article 1 – Calling and Convening a Convention to say:

(1) Congress may convene a Constitutional Convention, where if a motion calling for the Constitutional Convention, requiring a which requires 2/3 supermajority support in each individual chamber, has passed both chambers.

(2) Members of both legislative chambers shall separately elect a single Convention Chairperson Candidate and Deputy Chairperson by a vote organised by the Electoral Commission using the immediate runoff voting system. They must serve unless they resign, or are removed.

(3) Convention Chairperson Candidates can be anyone in either Chamber of Congress, and once both Chambers have come to a conclusion on their respective Candidate, another vote by the same standards will decide on which one of the two will be the Conventional Chairperson or Deputy Conventional Chairperson.

Changes Article 2 – Member of the Convention, Section 1 to say:

(1) Members of a legislative chamber hold the right for full participation in formal membership of the Convention; meaning the right to fully participate in all official Convention debates and votes.

Changes Article 3 – Powers of the Chair and Deputy Chairpersons, Section 3 to say:

Any power the Chairperson holds may be delegated to any deputies their Deputy Chairperson as they see fit seen fit by the Chairperson.

Changes Article 4 - Fundamental Procedures of the Convention, Section 3 to say:

All amendments are entitled to a minimum of 12 24 hours of debate. They are also entitled to a minimum of 24 hours of vote.

Changes Changes Article 4 - Fundamental Procedures of the Convention, Section 6 to say:

If the Chairperson or Deputy loses their seat as a Senator/Member of Parliament for X during the Convention, a vote shall be held for that position as per Art(1)(2) specified in Article 1. Should any other official member of the Convention as specified in Article 2 lose their seat during the Convention, that seat will remain vacant until a Snap Election is held for that seat. Senators or Members of Parliament elected in a Snap Election during the Convention shall be allowed to be formal members of the Convention.

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