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 Post subject: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 04:57pm
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Proposal:That the Senate membership be reduced from it's current fifty plus members to a new much smaller Senate based off a once a year election model.

Mechanics: First all current senators including automatic Senators such as Moderator's and Admins shall be removed from the Senate. The new smaller Senate be chosen from those currently in the Senate. It's membership to number 23, twenty two senators and one Chancellor who shall have no vote except in cases of ties. Each month two Senators shall face re-election. A monthly election thread to be created each month in the House of Commons with a voting thread to be placed there for the last week of the month. Senator's can only run for their own Senate, if facing reelection they can not run against their fellow Senator who is also up for reelection. Nor can any non-Senator run in both Senate elections that month. They most chose to face one of the two Senators and run against them. They are free to run for re-election every month if they so chose but only against one Senator at a time.

Rights: Senator's have several rights and privileges as being Senators such as being able to edit their own post in any forum. They shall in most cases retain this right even if they are defeated and have to leave the Senate for the simple reason they have proven themselves worthy of said rights. They will lose their vote in the Senate, and their access to that body but retain any rights the Administration deems earned.

Removal/Impeachment: Should any member be removed for breaking forum rules their will be a special election held by the Chancellor during the next monthly election cycle to fill that seat, keeping in mind that whoever is elect to that seat shall only be serving out the remaining time left in that Seat. In cases were three or less months remain until the scheduled, it may be the determination of the Chancellor to let the seat simply sit empty until the next election.

Addendum:Due to this nature of this once a year election system all Senate elections will be suspended until March in order to give the new Senators time to get support togther to get their senate. In order to ensure a smooth transfer of power the random lot method will be used to determine who faces election in March, April ect. However once they are elected again it is a one year term starting from the first day of the month following that election.

Extra
The short of it is this. Everyone now in the Senate gives up/loses their Seat. Moderator's are not automatic senators. We the Mod staff already have our own forum to bitch and complain about the rules in. We don't need to be Senator's by default. You can sure as heck run for it if you like but you don't need a vote in the Senate by default.

For our regular senators most of you were grandfathered in by decree you can be removed the same way. And lets face it most of you could win election dead easy. How many people would run against Simplicius or Hotfoot? Not many because they know they would be crushed in any elections. How about Ted C or Bear? Maybe.

This forum was originally intended to be a place of lively discussion, someplace to hash out board issues, and our first spot to go for future Mod-staff. Instead the Senate exists to do little more than vote in the next member and that new member will lead a crusade or two and then once their burning needs are taken care off, they become as Apathetic as everyone else in the Senate. We have to many people in the Senate, witness the N&P Cleanup threads,a good 1/3 of our Senator's never even posted to those discussion threads.

So I say enough, we tear it down, we build it up again and if you don't pay attention to what they are asking for in HoC out on your arse you could go. And I say I will be the first person to vote myself out of office under this system.
What say you Senate?




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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 05:35pm
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I'll put the first voice in firm opposition, then. Mr. Bean, the Senate was not created to be an elected, accountable body to the larger population of SD.net who would be involved in some kind of legislative and judicial process on a regular basis. I know there's been a lot of confusion about that, and hell, I thought that way once myself (well, about the legislative and judicial process), but in going back and reading the details of the original formation, I remembered how utterly wrong I was.

Simply put, the board population should never be allowed to choose Senators. I don't even believe that Senators should be allowed to choose Senators, though it's better than a popular vote. Senators are not Senators in the sense elsewhere, that's just a fun title. They're honoured board members who are thus given the right to be involved in policy decisions if they choose to be. Emphasis on choose. We should be able to honour board members with Senator rights and privileges without forcing them to vote in vote threads and kick them out ultimately if they don't. The Senate has gotten to be an obligation and responsibility, when it should really be a reward for personal responsibility.

In short, we need to eliminate quorums on votes and eliminate all punishment for Senators who don't vote, and continue to vote on Senators who are worthy of having the privileges associated with the Senate, and admit them in the present way, allowing only those Senators who want to participate to participate, and making the size of the Senate utterly irrelevant, since ideally everyone on the board would be mature enough to be a Senator, even though we know that will never happen, thus why we do in fact have the Senate. But these limits to the numbers of Senators are taking the Senate in the wrong direction, and so are the demands that Senators participate in votes.

The Senate should be transformed from this quasi-legislative body into "a group of reliable people" who are thus given certain privileges, not responsibilities, that they can exercise if they want. That will eliminate the present problems for the most part, with everyone being able to aspire to be in the Senate if they're mature enough, and the Senators who don't really care can now just ignore the Senate, and in doing so assent to the current direction of the board. If Senators have problems or want to be involved in the management of the board, then they can come here to raise those issues, or vote on threads about various issues.

I would go further and say that while nominations should be allowed in the House of Commons still, the power to elect new Senators should be removed from the Senate and instead votes on elevating people nominated in the HOC should be conducted in secret in the Moderator forum without any of us, Senators or plebes, knowing about the decision-making process therein, since after all, Senate membership should ultimately be a reward for competency and personal responsibility on the board, not some kind of governing body.



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 05:38pm
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And in support of the fact that my view of the Senate is the absolutely correct one, I present to what Mike posted to the board only ten days prior, as a sticky in the House of Commons, which mirrors my view more or less absolutely, and with good reason, since I based my argument of what the Senate ought be off of this post of Mike's:

Quote:
Occasionally, I see a recurrent discussion where users complain that the House of Commons has no real power, and that even the Senate has limited power, whereupon others answer that "this is Mike's board, Mike's rules" and users respond that this entire exercise is pointless if the board is a dictatorship. With that in mind, I think it is necessary to post a reminder of how these forums came to be, and why they exist.

Early in the board's history, it was discovered that one of the most common troll tactics is to whine about the board's rules, particularly since our rules are different from most forum rules. It became common enough to become a serious nuisance (especially when thread after thread became hijacked into arguments about the rules), so we added a new rule: you can't whine about the rules.

This was useful for shutting down certain troll tactics, but we eventually realized that people should be able to express concerns and suggestions about board policy, features, etc. So we created a class of users who could do precisely that: the Senators. We selected them for maturity and posting history, gave them special privileges, allowed them to discuss board policy in a dedicated forum, and allowed them to vote on certain issues, such as disciplinary actions. Some felt that the entire membership should have a similar forum, hence the House of Commons was born. However, it was never meant to be a voting body with any kind of authority to force me or the administrative staff or even the Senate to do anything; it is simply a feedback forum for issues that you are not allowed to discuss on the rest of the forum for the reasons described in the previous paragraph.

One final note: I do 100% of the server maintenance and while Google ad money helps defray the Internet connection costs, I still pay for the server, I still do all of the software maintenance, and I still pay for all repairs, upgrades, etc. Only a small number of you have ever donated money to help (I do keep records of those who have donated, although I haven't made a public list). Those of you who complain the most are also least likely to be on the donator list; don't think I haven't noticed. That is why I reserve ultimate executive authority for myself, although I will tend to give consideration to donators. Those of you who have experience paying bills in life understand and accept this without protest. Those of you who are too young to have ever supported yourself or paid any bills may feel that this is unreasonable; all I can say is that when your name is on the bills someday, you will understand.




The link to Mike's post.

Senators are allowed to discuss board policy and participate in disciplinary actions, not required to; this proposal is moving the Senate in the wrong direction and even further away from what Mike had intended it to be.



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 05:47pm
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As I've said numerous times in the past I am open to any an all ideas. But my goal is the same.
There are to many Senator's period. It takes to long to vote, we have to many Me-too votes in the Senate and above all the Senate almost never does anything. Instead every single request or comment comes via the House of Commons why? Because Senator's are not doing their job, the old system we had a simple process, you have an issue with the board, you raise it with a senator, Senator if they judge it worthy they brought it up in the Senate, Senate discuss and votes on the matter the Administration implements it.

By forcing it to an election model I intend to force the two main things the Senate is lacking, one activity, two dedication. Our senior members are not our active members and our active(sane) members are the ones I want in the Senate.

Will at least you concede the point that the Moderator staff has no business in the Senate unless otherwise noted?

Here at present is the current Senate list minus Mod's
1 Rob Wilson
2 Publius
3 Stark
4 phongn
5 Sea Skimmer
6 Stuart Mackey
7 Mad
8 Gil Hamilton
9 Wicked Pilot
10 CmdrWilkens
11 Ted C
12 Eleas
13 Kuja
14 seanrobertson
15 Lord Poe
16 Patrick Degan
17 The Yosemite Bear
18 GrandMasterTerwynn
19 Ender
20 Connor MacLeod
21 Chris OFarrell
22 Coyote
23 Knife
24 Spyder
25 The Duchess of Zeon
26 Hotfoot
27 InnerBrat
28 Stas Bush
29 Kuroneko
30 Broomstick
31 Imperial Overlord
32 Surlethe
33 Noble Ire
34 Simplicius
35 Spin Echo




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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 05:50pm
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Also let me add on a separate track that a good third of current Senators are if not inactive then at least "quiet". Quiet in the sense they do nothing but vote and post that they have voted.




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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 05:52pm
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Mr Bean wrote:
As I've said numerous times in the past I am open to any an all ideas. But my goal is the same.
There are to many Senator's period. It takes to long to vote, we have to many Me-too votes in the Senate and above all the Senate almost never does anything. Instead every single request or comment comes via the House of Commons why? Because Senator's are not doing their job, the old system we had a simple process, you have an issue with the board, you raise it with a senator, Senator if they judge it worthy they brought it up in the Senate, Senate discuss and votes on the matter the Administration implements it.


Senators don't have a job, Sir; they have a privilege. That is the point I was trying to make, they are not required to represent people, they are given the privilege of representing themselves. It seems this does however represent a really fundamentally different view of what the Senate should be between the two of us; however, Mike's idea of what the Senate should be is, as his own words state, much closer to mine than your's, and he is the ultimate authority here.

Quote:
By forcing it to an election model I intend to force the two main things the Senate is lacking, one activity, two dedication. Our senior members are not our active members and our active(sane) members are the ones I want in the Senate.


You will not get them. The majority of posters on the board do not care about the Senate, and the people who will vote will be the ones who regard the forum "drama" as a source of entertainment. Allowing votes will simply mean that Dark Hellion, etc, will be Senators so that people can laugh at what they do while they're in here. The responsible posters of great intelligence who are not to my knowledge in the Senate, like Kourenko, Eris, Mayabird, etc, etc, have posted in the House of Commons at most once, about relatively minor issues. The endless supposed "debates" over the representativeness of the Senate, and the idea it should be representative, are the result of a small cabal, as Havokeff has pointed out before, who are intentionally perpetuating a meme of conflict when none exists. And I can guarantee you that they will be the only ones who "care" enough to vote.

Quote:
Will at least you concede the point that the Moderator staff has no business in the Senate unless otherwise noted?


Yes, I'm in favour of stripping all individuals with access to the private mod forum out of the Senate, as that is redundant and unnecessary.



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 05:53pm
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Mr Bean wrote:
Also let me add on a separate track that a good third of current Senators are if not inactive then at least "quiet". Quiet in the sense they do nothing but vote and post that they have voted.


And that should be their right. We should in fact drop quorums and participation requirements entirely so that they don't have to vote at all if they don't want to. That is the entire point of my argument, and your stating this again does nothing to address that point. Why should Senators be forced to participate when that is more or less the exact opposite of what Mike intended the Senate to be?



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 06:12pm
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The Duchess of Zeon wrote:
[

Senators don't have a job, Sir; they have a privilege. That is the point I was trying to make, they are not required to represent people, they are given the privilege of representing themselves. It seems this does however represent a really fundamentally different view of what the Senate should be between the two of us; however, Mike's idea of what the Senate should be is, as his own words state, much closer to mine than your's, and he is the ultimate authority here.

That adds to an argument I'll make here. Mike's original idea of the Senate mirrors yours. But he is in fact the supreme authority here. He is free to ignore or accept the Senate's rulings as he decides. He has agreed "provisionally" to accept new policies that he agrees with. The original purpose of the Senate was to offload policy work from the Administration side and let the Senate handle it, requiring him only to implement the policies they write up. It is not working this way, instead all issues are taken up in the commons and maybe, just maybe a Senator stirs him or herself to bring it up here were it will be discussed for a week, voted on (almost always approved) and passed on to the Administration who may or may not bother to implement the policy.


Quote:
You will not get them. The majority of posters on the board do not care about the Senate, and the people who will vote will be the ones who regard the forum "drama" as a source of entertainment. Allowing votes will simply mean that Dark Hellion, etc, will be Senators so that people can laugh at what they do while they're in here. The responsible posters of great intelligence who are not to my knowledge in the Senate, like Kourenko, Eris, Mayabird, etc, etc, have posted in the House of Commons at most once, about relatively minor issues. The endless supposed "debates" over the representativeness of the Senate, and the idea it should be representative, are the result of a small cabal, as Havokeff has pointed out before, who are intentionally perpetuating a meme of conflict when none exists. And I can guarantee you that they will be the only ones who "care" enough to vote.

Then offer an alternative, the Senate is growing, members are idle are any an all discussion happens in the House of Commons. I contend and I can find enough staff to agree with me that the Senate is not "working as intended" My suggestion to switch to a form of democratic representation does not meet with your approval fine, suggest an alternative. I have two left in reserve. Bean plan 2 calls for handpicking a new smaller senate and then requiring a unanimous vote to add any new members and that all members are for life or until banning. Bean plan 3 calls for a complete elimination of the Senate and a complete reliance on the House of Commons, the HoC will remain powerless but retain it's position as an official place to gain attention for your cause.

What Duchess is your method?





The Duchess of Zeon wrote:
Mr Bean wrote:
Also let me add on a separate track that a good third of current Senators are if not inactive then at least "quiet". Quiet in the sense they do nothing but vote and post that they have voted.


And that should be their right. We should in fact drop quorums and participation requirements entirely so that they don't have to vote at all if they don't want to. That is the entire point of my argument, and your stating this again does nothing to address that point. Why should Senators be forced to participate when that is more or less the exact opposite of what Mike intended the Senate to be?
[/quote]
Mike has posted on this in the past. Not bothering to participate in the Senate can be grounds for removal. If we want to go off Gospel Mike then you'll just conceed that point correct? In other areas and forums non-Moderator's don't have access to I can say Darth Wong has made similar statements that not doing anything but voting is his eyes a reason for removal. He may have changed his mind as those posts I found and will not copy here(Fellow Mod's dig back through to thread 5 and 4 for those posts) are a few months to a few years old. But he did say at the outset that active members were a goal of those he wished to have in the Senate.




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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 06:22pm
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"Could be", Mr. Bean. As in he won't stop us if we change the rules to that effect, but it wasn't something he explicitly desired, either. But clearly in the post I provided he makes clear that, whether or not participation is required, the Senate is primarily about letting Senators express themselves, not the "will of the people".



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 06:24pm
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I'd really like to leave Senate reform up to Mike, actually, Mr. Bean. If there is a feeling that the Senate as it currently is, is not working, then let Mike choose what sort of Senate he wants on his board in the future. I don't think this should be decided by anyone else, since he clearly had something specific in mind for the Senate when it was first created, from my read of his explanation.



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 06:29pm
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If you insist that I put forward a proposal, I say that we allow currently nominated individuals (Bounty, Thanas, J, Ace Pace) to be elected pursuant to the current rules, and then adopt your Proposal #2 about locking down further Senate membership to a unaminous vote - 1; i.e., you can have one vote against you and still get in, but 2 + means you don't. This will be basically just as harsh as what you've proposed, but it means that a single Senator with a vendetta can't indefinitely halt someone's ascension to the Senate, which would otherwise be a serious issue.

I would then also support stripping all of the mods (who have mod forum access) out of the Senate, and then at that point we'd have, what, about a ... 51 - 16 = 35 member Senate. Surely that would be small enough to be acceptable? Promotion to full modship would mean a Senator loses their place in the Senate, which would neatly compensate for any new elections and keep the Senate below 40 members permanently. The Chancellor would have access to the mod forum and the Senate, and would make all the proposals in the Senate for things like ban votes which the Governors currently make instead.



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 06:36pm
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I'd also agree to just removing Lord Poe, Innerbrat, and Rob Wilson, since Lord Poe has clearly stated his intention to never return to the board, and Innerbrat and Rob Wilson both haven't posted here in about a year.

I'd also thus say that any Senator who has not made a single post on the board for more than 18 months is automatically removed from the new Senate, to deal with situations like that. That brings us down to 32 members + a maximum of 4 who can be elected under the old rules, and the new rules will be strict enough that between people leaving the board, people voluntarily resigning, and people being promoted to the modship, that the new Senate would then never exceed 40 members, which is a reasonable compromise hard limit, I'd submit.



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 06:40pm
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Moderators already have limited rights in the Senate. I am not going to support striping my own power further. Actually reducing the size of the senate is highly unlikely. You need broad support to overcome the people you are trying to oust.

Interestingly enough, comments have been made about active members of the senate. The moderators make up a good portion of said active members. So by striping the mods and kicking them out you are going to cut down on discussion even more. Rather counter productive to give the boot to the very type of people you are trying to retain.



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 06:47pm
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Alyeska wrote:
Moderators already have limited rights in the Senate. I am not going to support striping my own power further. Actually reducing the size of the senate is highly unlikely. You need broad support to overcome the people you are trying to oust.

Interestingly enough, comments have been made about active members of the senate. The moderators make up a good portion of said active members. So by striping the mods and kicking them out you are going to cut down on discussion even more. Rather counter productive to give the boot to the very type of people you are trying to retain.


I was prepared to compromise with Mr. Bean's idea of making the Senate smaller in that fashion, but if there is no widespread support for doing so, then I will drop it. I think the Senate can function quite well at 50 members as well as 40, or 35, personally, but I'm willing to accept a smaller Senate if there's a lot of support for it, just not nearly as small as Mr. Bean proposes; my lower limit would be 35 members.



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 06:47pm
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Duchess, the current system (unless things changed radically while I was away) has all moderators as Governors. They have similar privileges to the senate, but not the same and cannot do some things that Senators can. Governors participate in the system, but full control is supposed to rest in the hands of the Senators. Perhaps we should try and bring back that system in itself. Separate the Governors and Senators, but keep them in this forum for continue discussion. Under that system you still get your reduced size senate, so to speak.



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 06:56pm
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Alyeska wrote:
Duchess, the current system (unless things changed radically while I was away) has all moderators as Governors. They have similar privileges to the senate, but not the same and cannot do some things that Senators can. Governors participate in the system, but full control is supposed to rest in the hands of the Senators. Perhaps we should try and bring back that system in itself. Separate the Governors and Senators, but keep them in this forum for continue discussion. Under that system you still get your reduced size senate, so to speak.



Are you saying that you'd be willing to work with a situation were the Governors are allowed to come into the Senate forum for discussion, but the Senators are the ones who start vote threads and vote on them, only?



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 07:05pm
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The Duchess of Zeon wrote:
Alyeska wrote:
Duchess, the current system (unless things changed radically while I was away) has all moderators as Governors. They have similar privileges to the senate, but not the same and cannot do some things that Senators can. Governors participate in the system, but full control is supposed to rest in the hands of the Senators. Perhaps we should try and bring back that system in itself. Separate the Governors and Senators, but keep them in this forum for continue discussion. Under that system you still get your reduced size senate, so to speak.



Are you saying that you'd be willing to work with a situation were the Governors are allowed to come into the Senate forum for discussion, but the Senators are the ones who start vote threads and vote on them, only?


Something similar to that. If memory serves, Governors aren't allowed to make proposals, nominate, or 2nd things. Back when the senate was newly created I tried nominating someone only for it to be invalidated as Governors weren't allowed to do that. The reason behind the rule was to give the gate keeping powers to the senators. They decide their agenda. Governors were welcome to vote and discuss, but all gate keeping powers were retained to Senators themselves.



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 07:26pm
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Alyeska wrote:
The Duchess of Zeon wrote:
Alyeska wrote:
Duchess, the current system (unless things changed radically while I was away) has all moderators as Governors. They have similar privileges to the senate, but not the same and cannot do some things that Senators can. Governors participate in the system, but full control is supposed to rest in the hands of the Senators. Perhaps we should try and bring back that system in itself. Separate the Governors and Senators, but keep them in this forum for continue discussion. Under that system you still get your reduced size senate, so to speak.



Are you saying that you'd be willing to work with a situation were the Governors are allowed to come into the Senate forum for discussion, but the Senators are the ones who start vote threads and vote on them, only?


Something similar to that. If memory serves, Governors aren't allowed to make proposals, nominate, or 2nd things. Back when the senate was newly created I tried nominating someone only for it to be invalidated as Governors weren't allowed to do that. The reason behind the rule was to give the gate keeping powers to the senators. They decide their agenda. Governors were welcome to vote and discuss, but all gate keeping powers were retained to Senators themselves.


I think that would be certainly quite workable, just to tighten the restrictions on what the Governors can do while still encouraging them to participate.



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-25 07:41pm
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In that case, this is a proposal I would agree with.

Separate the mods back into the Governor group with full senate rights to the Senators only. Cull any inactive member from the senate (those worthy of inactive status can be debated) or those who have retired/stormed out. Openly encourage shadow members to retire or become more active. And if we want to encourage further activity, we could start acting like a real senate. Form committees who have specific roles on specific topics or issues.

(edit) I am very leery of reelections.



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-26 12:03am
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Hrm, I say restore moderators back to governors, and give them discussion but not voting status. Also, bump it from 23 to 25 symbolically relating to being 2 senators from each of the main forums, plus 1 Chancellor. Other then that, my concern is that the open senator elections will basically be us dictating to Mike who advises him, rather then him selecting those he trusts to pick like minds (this is my same concern about HoC nominations). I threw my name into the ring to back Coyote for those mod election threads, but I have to say, if I were in Mike's shoes that would have pissed me off mightily. I don't think open nominations are much better in that regard. But if the nominations list was cleared from above, I would have no problem with senators facing re-election. So what if I lose my seat? Faux privilege or not isn't really going to change my attitude - I'm not really power hungry and looking to advance standing here or anything.



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-26 12:49am
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As previously remarked elsewhere, the rules of the Senate say that senators "get to discuss board policy." When did this become an obligation instead of a privilege? When did the Senate become the board legislature?



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-26 01:18am
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Seeing as moderators would naturally have posting rights to this forum, they would already have discussion rights, so to speak (unless outright taken away by the admin). Governors had voting rights, but nothing beyond that. And the idea of electing new senators was to give the senate the ability to go their own direction without necessarily being influenced by Governor votes.



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-26 01:50am
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Publius wrote:
As previously remarked elsewhere, the rules of the Senate say that senators "get to discuss board policy." When did this become an obligation instead of a privilege? When did the Senate become the board legislature?

As far as I understood it, we never were. We were like the Imperial Senate of Star Wars, not of Rome. We spouted off what we thought and then the Local governors and the Emperor did what they wanted. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be taken seriously though,



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-26 01:52am
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I find myself agreeing with Marina on this. The idiotic idea that the Senate is a representative body of the board in general has gone too far. You want to restrict membership, fine, I have no problem with that. But the idea of turning the Senate, regardless of the moniker, from an advisory board to a real congressional body, is asinine.

As well as sating the ego of the mob, and making the board in general be the advisory panel. While I sympathies with Bean's position, I think it's the wrong direction. Too many people are saying the Senate isn't working, or that shit is messed up. I'd like to bust out the rules and ask for a 'why' and the evidence?

Wong hasn't complained about his advisory panel. The staff in general hasn't, though I realize some have a problem with parts of the system. It is a well documented fact that a shit ton of folks, staff, senate, general members; think more actual staff is needed, but that's hardly the fault of the advisory panel. The HoC has done nothing but repeat the early Senate history, except with with twice the drama and bitchiness.

Hellion really put it in perspective for me; some people on this board have bought into the culture of the place, that of intelligence and logic and the sense of being elite, to such a high degree they are insulted by the prospect that there is a level (perceived or not) above them and they have their sense of eliteness of just being a SDNetter threatened. A lot of the HoC creation, IMO, was brought about because of this. Some wanted to be special like the Senate if they couldn't get the senate disbanded they wanted 'equal time'. You can tell with the utter rage you see when the dictates of the HoC aren't codified and followed (all repeats of Senate mistakes right after it's inception).

The Senate isn't a congressional body, Marina has this right, it's an advisory panel and a reward. In a sense it IS the good old boys club, though not how some would present it. It is the people who are thought of as being elite, but by the top of the board, not the 3000 some odd members but those who participate and participate well. The HoC isn't a congressional body either, it's a place where if you have a problem with the board or members you can lodge a complaint with the idea that 'normal' rules about questioning the staff or rules or policy are a bit less stringent there. Isn't that why they always bitch about the Senate? Isn't that why the general members were tossed the bone and given the responsibility to nominate senators?

Really, I don't know whether to just scrape all of this bullshit, Senate and HoC, or really have someone sit down and slap the stupid out of the whole damn board. You don't feel elite because you're not on the super elite panel? Too fucking bad. You don't feel represented or over represented due to who you feel is your favorite Senator? Too fucking bad. You don't like Mike's advisory panel? To fucking bad.



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 Post subject: Re: Mr Bean's Grand Senate Reconstruction PostPosted: 2009-01-26 04:32am
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While I agree that the Senate has gotten large I don't think it has been unweildy in any paticualr way. Most votes currently involve 40-45 total recorded votes out of an "active" membership of about 50. Of the total group population there are an additionaly 7 "inactive" voters for various reasons (Myself and Mike for administrative reasons, Rob W and Stuart Mackey for communicated absence, InnerBrat, Zaia, and Stravo for inactivity). While the non-votes shit around, and I do track who votes and who doesn't, there are very few instances where any given Senator will go more than 2-3 months without participation (the exceptions already noted above). Given that I don't think the Senate as currently constructed is too large.

That said I think turnover is at least worthwhile so here is a counter proposal:

Counter Proposal:

-The term of each Senator shall be for 2 years from the date of entry. At the first voting the Senate shall be divided (by the Chancellor in consultation with the Admins) into 24 groups.

- Each month after nominations have been made in the House of Commons those nominated to the Senate will be placed into a poll with the group of Senators in sequence.

- Each Senator shall have the right to select up to three candidates including themselves (along with the option for 3 "no" votes or an abstain). The three candidates with the largest totals shall become (or remain Senators). An example is provided:

Senator A: 30 votes
"None-3": 20 votes
Candidate A: 18 votes
Senator B: 17 votes
Candidate B: 15 votes
"None-2": 12 votes
"None-1": 8 votes
"Abstain": 12 votes

In this scenario Senator A and Candidate B would be selected for the Senate.

- Under this system we could have 3 re-elected senators, 2 re-elects and a new, 2 re-elects and no new, etc, etc. Thus we still have the existing Senate re-cycle some as they must contest their existing seats.

---------

Part of the reason I have structured it as a pick 3 is that the option is workable within the existing software without changes (we can create a 3 option poll currently) the other is that it both allows for new blood (nominations are still considered from the HoC) and provides a means for rotating existing Senators, including Governors, out of the Senate. This system would also not require a wholsesale re-election to fill the Senate immediately and would allow for a gradual re-alignment. At the same time this also preserves the original mod-identified Senate and allows for self-selection of those who are likewise inclined. The alst note is that the pick 3 system means that of the 24 elections in complete cycle we have an absolute maximum size of 72 Senators counting Chancellor and Whip.


The other proposal I would like to forward is this:

- If a Senate member has not participated in a vote (that is they have not identified their post and/or the outbox of the Whip/Chancellor indicates they have not yet acknowledged their vote notification) for a period of three months then they may be brought before the Senate for a vote of removal. This would exclude those who are inactive by request for a specified period of time.


This goes along with the fact that I monitor both who indicates that they voted in the threads AND who actually picks up their PM. Doing either one of those counts as having voted so there are very few people each cycle (<5 on average) who are counted as having not voted. Right now I've been declaring folks "inactive" if they do so more than 5 votes in a row at which point they get a sperate PM which basically say "you are inactive, PM me back if you want to be 'active' again." Given that there is sort of a mechanism now for removing inactive Senators I'd like to at least have some debate on what the timeframe should be. I'm not wed to the idea of 3 months but figured its a nice round number to start with.



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