IIRC, wasn't the purpose of the House of Commons to allow plebes to directly and publicly recommend issues for Senate consideration and to discuss those issues and the Senate's debates on them? I don't remember if it was also intended to provide plebes a means to suggest, then nominate, candidates for elevation to the Senate.
So the purpose of the forum is to talk about things and make suggestions...but not for new Senators? There's a disconnect there.
I might also ask what mechanism led to mods taking bans upon themselves again, aside from what appears to be the processes of Senate apathy and the mods no longer requesting the Senate to debate bans or titling of malcontents. As stated, we're back to ban by Star Chamber, not open and public debate by the Senate.
Technically, the mods can't ban, only the Admins, and they can pretty much do whatever the hell they want to do. The Senate is an advisory body only, and has been from the very beginning. The Admins NEVER needed Senate approval to do a damn thing. There have been multiple incidences of admins banning losers under Senate review before a vote has even been called. The implication that it's improper for admins to do their jobs and ban malcontents without the lethargic approval of the Senate is...well quite frankly, laughable.
It would seem to me that the natural purpose of the Senate is a body of respected SDN posters who provide a check upon the power of the mods (though not Mike). If we are such, then the following should be true. When it comes to punishing bad or misbehaving posters., short of emergency bans necessary to prevent hacking or dealing with advertisers and the like, the Senate should vote upon banning members for their offenses and should also be the ones to decide whether to give a negative CT to posters who haven't quite done anything ban-worthy but who have certainly misbehaved or shown unwelcome behavior. The mods can petition the Senate to approve of such actions but, again short of an "emergency" situation, the Senate should be the ones to approve of a ban.
We were a check on moderators? Since when? Issues with moderators have almost exclusively been handled by other moderators and admins, and such matters are commonly held privately between the moderator and the complainant, as is board policy.
Whether or not the Senate should have the power to put a misbehaving moderator on trial can be debated, though I don't see why we can't recommend a misbehaving or absentee mod be replaced. In conjunction with that, we should be willing to accept as condition of our status the responsibility of replacing mods who are removed due to resignation, retirement, removal, or prolonged absence.
Even if the Senate existed for this sole purpose, how often is this needed? Often enough to warrant a special usergroup that inflates itself every month or so? What is gained from this over just relying on the existing system?
On top of that, the Senate would be the logical body to recommend new policies to Mike and the other admins/mods, either on our own initiative or supporting those recommended in the House of Commons.
I've noticed most people seem to be paying more attention to the House of Commons lately than the Senate.
If we don't have these powers and duties, then certainly the Senate's purpose on the board becomes hollow. We become the fancy club of popular posters who only debate on how large our club should be and who, if anyone, should get to join.
Sorry, there should be more past tense here.
i'm going to be blunt. I have very little patience for things with no purpose, and that's what the Senate strikes me as. All the "lol fun" activities were co-opted by Testing long ago, what with their Testingstan Presidential runs and such. We've just been a bunch of pompous asses with ILLUSIONS, and I can't stress that enough, ILLUSIONS of power who have been taking ourselves way too damn seriously.
All the fun? The perks? They're gone. The edit perk is basically useless now that the board has a reasonable editing policy. The "Senator" tag? Useless and gone, rightly so. Having fun? No fun in the Senate, we are serious here, because we have POWER! Only not.
Let's look at our other "jobs". We were an early warning system for trolls and retards. They're rather limited these days, in a way, we worked ourselves into retirement here. Especially with the report button, Mods and Admins have a much easier time of tracking the few malcontents we have here.
Board policy? How about the vast majority of the people who USE the board, instead of a bunch of often-absent Senators? If the suggestions make sense, the admins can add them. Seems to work well so far, with the addition of various bits of code here and there.
Personally, I don't much see the point to the Senate right now. The fun part is being handled by Testing, where we can have mindless fun and all that, and the serious part is being handled, quite well as far as I can tell, by the HoC.
So far, the only things I've heard to keep the Senate running are advocating adding complexity and wasting time just to give us something to do. Not to make running the board easier for the admins and mods, but just to give us something to waste time with, and waste time we do. For what? To make us feel important?
Unless someone can give me a legitimate purpose that the Senate helps the board run smoothly, I suggest we disband the Senate, lock this forum, and let the House of Commons take over.