Purpose of the House of Commons and Senate

A failed experiment whereby board users were invited to advise the Senate, and instead attempted to replace the Senate.
Locked
User avatar
Darth Wong
Sith Lord
Sith Lord
Posts: 70027
Joined: 2002-07-03 12:25am
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Purpose of the House of Commons and Senate

Post by Darth Wong » 2009-01-15 12:03pm

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.
Image
"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

Samuel
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4750
Joined: 2008-10-23 11:36am

Re: Purpose of the House of Commons and Senate

Post by Samuel » 2009-01-15 02:45pm

So if you ever tire of running the board, are we going to turn it over to a plutocracy :P

Out of curiosity, what rules have been the problem? All I can remember is Israel v Palestine memorandum and Shep upset he won the vote but didn't get the post.

User avatar
Coyote
Rabid Monkey
Posts: 12464
Joined: 2002-08-23 01:20am
Location: The glorious Sun-Barge! Isis, Isis, Ra,Ra,Ra!
Contact:

Re: Purpose of the House of Commons and Senate

Post by Coyote » 2009-01-15 02:54pm

Samuel wrote:So if you ever tire of running the board, are we going to turn it over to a plutocracy :P
No, clearly it is libertarianism, where one should buy shares in the service provided! :wink:
Out of curiosity, what rules have been the problem? All I can remember is Israel v Palestine memorandum and Shep upset he won the vote but didn't get the post.
I thought at the time I'd made it clear that the votes were "advisory" in nature; a way to take the pulse of the public and let the Admins see if their own, personal picks squared with the feelings of the people. :oops: :?
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!

User avatar
Havok
Miscreant
Posts: 13016
Joined: 2005-07-02 10:41pm
Location: Oakland CA
Contact:

Re: Purpose of the House of Commons and Senate

Post by Havok » 2009-01-15 03:46pm

For the record, I have donated $100 to the paypal account. That said, I don't think that I have complained all that much about the rules if at all, despite perceptions and who I get lumped in with. I will however, argue about implementation and interpretation of the rules for certain.

That also said, anyone who doesn't understand what the Senate, and now the House of Commons is for, just hasn't been reading and paying attention.
Coyote wrote:
Shep upset he won the vote but didn't get the post.
I thought at the time I'd made it clear that the votes were "advisory" in nature; a way to take the pulse of the public and let the Admins see if their own, personal picks squared with the feelings of the people. :oops: :?
You did. Again, it comes down to people not reading and not paying attention.
Image
It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark... and we're wearing sunglasses.
Hit it.
Blank Yellow (NSFW)
"Mostly Harmless Nutcase"

User avatar
Havok
Miscreant
Posts: 13016
Joined: 2005-07-02 10:41pm
Location: Oakland CA
Contact:

Re: Purpose of the House of Commons and Senate

Post by Havok » 2009-01-15 04:35pm

Darth Wong wrote: 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.
Shit. I assumed this was what the Hall Of Heroes was. Now I have to keep investigating. :)
Image
It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark... and we're wearing sunglasses.
Hit it.
Blank Yellow (NSFW)
"Mostly Harmless Nutcase"

User avatar
Stark
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 36169
Joined: 2002-07-03 09:56pm
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Contact:

Re: Purpose of the House of Commons and Senate

Post by Stark » 2009-01-15 04:55pm

Coyote wrote: I thought at the time I'd made it clear that the votes were "advisory" in nature; a way to take the pulse of the public and let the Admins see if their own, personal picks squared with the feelings of the people. :oops: :?
Yeah, this is probably the strangest misunderstanding and it's a shame that people felt this way.

But now I feel kinda guilty for never donating; I've never set up paypal etc. I should wire Hav some dollars to remedy this; it's absurd that I'd pay $15 a month for something terrible like EVE and not ever pay anything for SDN. :)

Locked