[Discussion] Senate Reform

A failed experiment whereby board users were invited to advise the Senate, and instead attempted to replace the Senate.
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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by Darth Fanboy » 2008-12-05 11:27am

CmdrWilkens wrote: I mean both. Right now, and I'm only speaking of right now,
Ok cool, I misinterpreted.
neither the Senate nor the HoC has any actual power to grant Mod status to a member. That remains in the sole proprietary hands of the current Admin staff.
I've said repeatedly that I know this, and that the whole point of asking about it in here is to figure out if this is what everyone else wants, and it seems to be the case. Nobody has come out and argued that more mods are not needed, even when they do not believe more mods is going to solve most of the problems going on lately.
The Senate hasn't acted because the Senate can't act. Both Red's thread and Coyote's thread are places where folks can express interest, think of it as CareerBuilder.com for forum moderators, but the people who will do the actual selection are the Admins.
I count those threads in the Senate as "acting." But I also watched as those ideas died for three weeks without any kind of responses and I feel it is important to keep this discussion going now because of how badly it is needed.
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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by Coyote » 2008-12-05 01:31pm

This stuff will only go so far as people carry it. Let's take a look at the House of Commons so far-- there's really just a couple dozen non-Senators posting here, and of that group, there's maybe about a dozen of them that are posting regularly (ie, Vendetta, Starglider, Ray245, Coffee, Havokeff, etc).

What I most assuredly do NOT want to hear is a bunch of whimpering in the future after decisions are made. No one needs their "special helmet" on to post here; any voice can be heard. If we elect Mods here based on, what, three dozen peoples' votes, and people complain later about thoise Mods representing "a few", I will have a nanotech-sized violin play a few bars of sympathy for them.
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

If all you want to do is have some harmless, mindless fun, go H3RE INST3ADZ0RZ!!
Grrr! Fight my Brute, you pansy!

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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by ray245 » 2008-12-05 01:43pm

In essence, it means you have to choice to opt out from a board election so to speak, or you have casted a null vote if you do not participate in a mod election.

Shifting the blame to other people is a common flaw we all share as humans. Just let us remember that in mind, whenever we make a decision on the board.

If we screwed up the board, it is our mistake as well.
Humans are such funny creatures. We are selfish about selflessness, yet we can love something so much that we can hate something.

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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by Coyote » 2008-12-05 01:56pm

ray245 wrote:In essence, it means you have to choice to opt out from a board election so to speak, or you have casted a null vote if you do not participate in a mod election...
Pretty much. Not being a shepherd or a cowboy, I cannot "ride herd" on everyone on the board to make sure they participate. I'm certainly not calling on people who are not posting. I have to go on the assumption that the majority are paying attention and their silence implies consent... or, they have no opinion on anything being discussed here since we haven't addressed anything of concern for them.

I do this in the interest of efficiency, not to be a bastard. Although there is a element of bastardy involved, and it is kinda fun. Heh. :mrgreen:
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

If all you want to do is have some harmless, mindless fun, go H3RE INST3ADZ0RZ!!
Grrr! Fight my Brute, you pansy!

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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by ray245 » 2008-12-05 02:09pm

Hmm, maybe we can have a time limit for mods? Let the mods stand for relection?
Humans are such funny creatures. We are selfish about selflessness, yet we can love something so much that we can hate something.

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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by Coyote » 2008-12-05 03:25pm

ray245 wrote:Hmm, maybe we can have a time limit for mods? Let the mods stand for relection?
That add complication, and promotes favoritism. Simpler to just let them rule until there are complaints requireing revokation.
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

If all you want to do is have some harmless, mindless fun, go H3RE INST3ADZ0RZ!!
Grrr! Fight my Brute, you pansy!

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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by Stark » 2008-12-05 04:51pm

'Promotes' favouritism? Are you saying the driving force here isn't favouritism? :) Personal attitudes of those making the decision will always cloud the issue. I think what Ray is looking for is 'oversight'.

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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by Coyote » 2008-12-05 04:57pm

Stark wrote:'Promotes' favouritism? Are you saying the driving force here isn't favouritism? :)
Ahh, but there would be... more favoritism!
Personal attitudes of those making the decision will always cloud the issue. I think what Ray is looking for is 'oversight'.
Yeah, but all a Mod would really need was to develop just enough supporters to ensure elections. Ruthlessly clamping down on opponents of a few select favorites; fellatio, etc.

Hmm, it actually sounds kinda fun (sqeak of moustache wax being twirled).

I think what would be better and more direct would be the idea that a 'No Confidence' vote could be called in the House of Commons at any time. A person would have to bring evidence to support said 'No Confidence' vote, but a Mod could be stripped of powers, title, position etc if found guilty.
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

If all you want to do is have some harmless, mindless fun, go H3RE INST3ADZ0RZ!!
Grrr! Fight my Brute, you pansy!

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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by Stark » 2008-12-05 05:05pm

Maybe I'm cynical, but aside from the hassle of re-elections, that sounds like the way it works now. But can you imagine it? The drama, the timewasting, the gasbagging? Ugh. :)

Just like any court where the case is decided by the class of people tried in it, a 'No Confidence' vote seems doomed unless you make it essentially mob rule, get 100 of yoru mates to vote = mod is kicked. It should already be obvious if a mod is abusing their power/not doing their job, and I believe the current 'report it to moderator through PM' system is there to prevent embarrassment and allow the backroom brigade to deal with it.

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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by Stark » 2008-12-05 05:07pm

Dude, this isn't a large community and by definition everything is logged. There's almost no scope for 'investigation' beyond 'ass covering' or 'considering the limits of acceptability'. Given what we've seen so far, I don't have a lot of faith in the ability for the body to self-regulate.

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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by Ghost Rider » 2008-12-05 05:08pm

We all know that if you do have issues with a moderator's action, you can ask for him or her to be put in front of an admin's attention, with the corresponding evidence?

I mean do we have to add another layer of bureuacracy to something that has been here since day one?
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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by Stark » 2008-12-05 05:10pm

Exactly my thought. Whether people take the system seriously/cover for their mates is another question, but PMing an admin with links is enough, you don't need a 'hearing' to 'prove' the 'evidence'. Either it's unacceptable mod behaviour or it isn't, and what is 'acceptable' can vary.

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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by Coyote » 2008-12-05 05:30pm

Stark wrote:Maybe I'm cynical, but aside from the hassle of re-elections, that sounds like the way it works now. But can you imagine it? The drama, the timewasting, the gasbagging? Ugh. :)

Just like any court where the case is decided by the class of people tried in it, a 'No Confidence' vote seems doomed unless you make it essentially mob rule, get 100 of yoru mates to vote = mod is kicked. It should already be obvious if a mod is abusing their power/not doing their job, and I believe the current 'report it to moderator through PM' system is there to prevent embarrassment and allow the backroom brigade to deal with it.
Good point, and one thing I keep forgetting about is the "report post" feature being used to provide instant feedback.

Durn new technology.

A gang rule type system could be a problem, indeed... I see a lot more easy abuse potential for constant re-elections, though. A person bringing a vote of No Confidence would have to provide evidence that the mod is abusing power, though. I'm kinda cynical, too, but most of us here would probably see through bullshit charges.

And maybe if a mod has peed in so many Cheerios that a cohesive mob can actually be formed here, well... maybe he or she deserves it. Heh. :wink:
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

If all you want to do is have some harmless, mindless fun, go H3RE INST3ADZ0RZ!!
Grrr! Fight my Brute, you pansy!

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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by Coyote » 2008-12-05 05:32pm

If we need to do "No Confidence" or Senate hearings, we'll bear it in mind, but for now let's wait and see if there's a need. This is all supposed to be about streamlining!
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

If all you want to do is have some harmless, mindless fun, go H3RE INST3ADZ0RZ!!
Grrr! Fight my Brute, you pansy!

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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by CmdrWilkens » 2008-12-06 11:37pm

As a thought I've put some propsed rule changes before the Senate for consideration and what I'd like to do is incorporate at least some of the ideas here so we can at least begin testing out some of the proposals rather than running around in circles (oddly enough the HoC is starting to resemble what folks have accused the Senate of being :D ).

So what I'm thinking we could change immediately and without a problem is at least this:

1) Senator nominations occur in the HoC, nomination opens on the 2nd and closes on the 24th per current rules, Senate votes for 7 days from the 24-31st/1st and plurality wins.

2) The restriction on requesting a nomination is dropped

3) Senate opens a vote on any board policy issue which has acheived "consensus" in the HoC. That is if a Mod or Admin determines that there is sufficient consensus on certian policy ideas then they can open a Senate vote thread (and notify the whip/chancellor/etc)


That being said I want to hold off on voting for term limits or term lengths until we have a firm consensus on what those should be. Obivously the rules I posted already include options for censure/removal of a Senator if folks complain so that is covered and my seperate proposal for new Mod's being selected by the Senate is off the table for now.
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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by Bob the Gunslinger » 2008-12-07 04:05pm

Coyote wrote:This stuff will only go so far as people carry it. Let's take a look at the House of Commons so far-- there's really just a couple dozen non-Senators posting here, and of that group, there's maybe about a dozen of them that are posting regularly (ie, Vendetta, Starglider, Ray245, Coffee, Havokeff, etc).

What I most assuredly do NOT want to hear is a bunch of whimpering in the future after decisions are made. No one needs their "special helmet" on to post here; any voice can be heard. If we elect Mods here based on, what, three dozen peoples' votes, and people complain later about thoise Mods representing "a few", I will have a nanotech-sized violin play a few bars of sympathy for them.
I doubt I'm the only member who is reading the HoC closely without posting in it. Most of the points I would want to make are already discussed, and with more elegance, by the time I get to the end of a thread.

Personally, I would like to see more Mods, a thriving, relevant House, and a Senate where Senators are not elected for life by their own close friends. Sour grapes it may be, but the Old Boys Club really adds a whole level of irony to everything the current Senators say in defense of the Senate as it is.
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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by Coyote » 2008-12-07 05:19pm

I think after we go through the Moderator expansion, we should put this thread into the fore and look at ideas such as limiting the number of Senators and opening up nominations to the public. That would mean agreeing on an elections schedule, criteria for nominations, and other minutiae.
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

If all you want to do is have some harmless, mindless fun, go H3RE INST3ADZ0RZ!!
Grrr! Fight my Brute, you pansy!

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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by seanrobertson » 2008-12-08 02:56pm

Vendetta wrote: Anyone else have any thoughts about where to take the Senate?
With all respect, I don't think it needs taking anywhere at the moment. In my judgment, changing it seems to be putting the cart before the horse. Before we start mixing things up, let's identify the BBS's potential problems, agree upon and further define those problems very clearly, then consider how best to solve them.
Pain, or damage, don't end the world, or despair, or fuckin' beatin's. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, ya got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man ... and give some back.
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Cry woe, destruction, ruin and decay: The worst is death, and death will have his day.
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Re: [Discussion] Senate Reform

Post by seanrobertson » 2008-12-08 03:15pm

Bob the Gunslinger wrote: Personally, I would like to see more Mods, a thriving, relevant House, and a Senate where Senators are not elected for life by their own close friends. Sour grapes it may be, but the Old Boys Club really adds a whole level of irony to everything the current Senators say in defense of the Senate as it is.
Bob,

I don't mean to single you out, but I've seen this claim once too often now, and I've yet to see anyone back it up.

Fellow Senator Ted Collins is a fine example. Yes, he is my friend. I've known him through Babtech, Spacebattles and this site for probably 7-8 years now.

But I didn't nominate him for the Senate based on friendship. I nominated him on merit. Check his posting history from day one: the guy's highly intelligent, articulate, thoughtful and, for all the vitriol that goes on here, he's always conducted himself like a gentleman. (I've nothing against swearing, mind you; I just admire his ability to always keep a cool head. He's very much like Publius in that regard ;) .)

More to the point, Ted didn't win in a landslide. He lost two nomination threads before he was inducted. So, where were all of his chums, ready to give him a free-pass into the treehouse club?

Ted's just one senator -- one example. I understand that. And while I freely admit some senatorial nominees probably benefitted from their popularity, as I said before, I've seen no evidence to indicate Ted's some wild exception to the rule.
Pain, or damage, don't end the world, or despair, or fuckin' beatin's. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, ya got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man ... and give some back.
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Cry woe, destruction, ruin and decay: The worst is death, and death will have his day.
-Ole' Shakey's "Richard II," Act III, scene ii.
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