Knife's "Our Purpose" Senate thread.

A failed experiment whereby board users were invited to advise the Senate, and instead attempted to replace the Senate.
User avatar
Posts: 13016
Joined: 2005-07-02 10:41pm
Location: Oakland CA

Knife's "Our Purpose" Senate thread.

Post by Havok » 2009-01-28 04:52am

Subject: [discussion]Our purpose.
Knife wrote:Let's cut through the bullshit. What is the perceived purpose of this forum? At face value it seems like a bullshit topic, but it seems every other topic in the HoC and about 25% of Senate threads question this.
Wong in the ot wrote:The actual purpose of this forum will be revealed in due time as we sort out some of our ideas, but in the meantime, all Senators can use this forum as they wish. Senators should also be aware that they have the ability to edit their posts in all the main forums.
Rob wrote:RULES

1. With a Modicum of Power... - As Senators you can edit your own posts in any General Forum however should you ever be found to be abusing that power, first of all you'll have the Mods to answer to and when they are finished with you... you become my plaything, and once I'm finished with you, you lose your Senator-ship as a minimum!
Considering the members of this group I don't expect that to ever happen, but I'm laying out the punishment in plain sight right now.

2. Peon, I choose you! - Beginning on the 2nd of every month the forum shall be placed open for the nomination of prospective Senators. Nomination shall close on the 24th of each month (excepting February when it will close on the 21st). The nominees who have been seconded shall be placed into a poll by the Chancellor, the Whip, of an Executor whomever should be first available.

A. Procedure for Nominating -

I. Each Member of the Senate has the right to nominate one person per month. If someone has nominated the person you wanted already, then you can second that nomination. If two people have nominated the person you want then wait for the vote. A second does not count as a nomination thus a Member may both nominate one candidate and second any additional candidates they deem worthy of consideration.

II. When making your nomination, add a link to the persons profile (this allows other to search through all their posts of they wish and ensures they know just who it is you're talking about - not confusing RogueIce with Rogue 9 for instance). You should also provide a link(s) to thread(s) that showcase their abilities/contributions. You can link to individual posts by copying the url from the little page symbol in the section of their posts which contains their avatar and user info, if you so wish.

III. In the case of someone with a spotty record the evidence in their favour must be stronger than that required for a normal nomination. Don't be suprised if no one votes for them though.

IV. All Members are granted the right to nominate and vote for entry into the Senate excepting the Chancellor (not excepting those cases where the Chancellor must cast a deciding vote)

V. All nominations shall be considered. That said nominations of persons in bad standing with the Chancellor shall be considered for removal from the nomination process at the Chancellor's discretion. This may only occur upon notice to the nominating Senator and with the concurrence of at least four governors. (Except those barred from nomination due to requests to join the Senate as discussed below)

B. Other nomination rules

I. Only nominations and comments on the nominee's may be put in a [Member] thread, if you don't agree on a nomination, then don't vote for that person. Any flames or arguments in that thread will be deleted - no exceptions!

II. If you get asked (whether by PM, in a thread, IM, Chat, E-mail, Phone, Letter, or in person) by someone to nominate them, you have to inform the Senate so they can be barred from joining. Obviously this relies on your honesty, so don't disappoint us.

III. If you get asked to nominate someone else then inform the Senate and the nominee's will get a 90 day temporary ban from being nominated, we'll make a decision on whether to bar them after review of their board behavior and posting history (we'll certainly bar the person asking).

C. Membership Vote - The vote for entry into the senate shall be conducted beginning on the 24th of the month (21st in February) and be run according to the rules for Class C votes below.

3. One Senator, one vote - Aside from discussion on policy and the usual debauchery of the Senate the vast majority of duties fall under votes within a range of categories. All votes and the rules for undertaking them are as follows:

A. Categories of votes:

I.Category A:
Board Policies/Senate Rules/Usergroups/PermaBan

II.Category B
TempBan/Titling/Lesser Offenses/Resolutions

III.Category C
Election to the Senate

B. Special note for PermaBan votes

I. When a user, for violation of the Board Rules, is the subject of a permanent ban poll in the Senate, that user may be temporarily banned for the duration of the poll at the discretion of any administrator, or upon request by any two Senators other than the Senator who initiated the ban poll.

II. Should the Senate impose a temporary ban as punishment for violation of the Board Rules after considering a permanent ban, the Senate may elect to count the time spent banned during the poll towards the user's sentence

C. Quorum for votes

I.Category A votes required a quorum of 50% of eligible voters. Category B and C require a quorum of 40% of eligible votes.

II.Eligible voters are all members of the Senate, except the Chancellor, who are currently active. A member may be declared inactive when they have missed 10 consecutive votes or when they have notified the Chancellor or the Whip of their intention to be absent for a specified period of time. Thus for a 51 member Senate there are 50 eligible voters (after the chancellor is subtracted) with quorum at 25 and 20 votes respectively.

III.Votes for abstention shall count towards meeting quorum but will not count either for or against any measure being voted.

D. Majorities for passage

I.Category A votes will require a 60% majority voting in favor for the resolution to pass. Category B requires a simple majority of votes in favor, which is 50% of voters plus 1. Category C requires a plurality of votes.

II.By example with 50 total votes (not counting abstentions) Category A would require 30 members in favor, Category B 26 members, and Category C the greatest number amongst all votes no for abstention.

III.The Chancellor may exercise the power to cast deciding votes in any case where one additional vote would reach the passing threshold for any category.

E. Voting administration

I.The Whip should be notified when any vote is begun so that notification may be given to all Senate Members. Upon notification or in cases where the Whip begins the thread all active members of the Senate shall be notified by PM and given a URL link to the thread.

II.From the point of opening a vote thread there shall be a time limit of 7 days during which to conduct voting. All votes will be final at the end of this period.

III.In all votes the option shall be given to abstain for members to register for quorum but not count towards any verdict

4. Democracy in inaction - You, yes you lucky few, get to discuss board policy! You can float your own idea's for discussion, you can float your friends idea's if you wish, and when the Mods make a policy decision you get to comment on it. And unlike anyone else that might discuss/comment on it, you actually get to have an impact. Go you!

5. Power to the People - Part of your job as Senators is to discuss that which is bothering the masses as such bringin matters to the Senate attention should be done quickly and coherently.

A.If your friends want to make suggestions then you can pass them along, however you must make it plain that it is on behalf of someone else (don't have to give names) and the person(s) that asked you should know that it's not automatic that their suggestions will get approved.

B. The procedure for non-members to contact Senate members is now available here. Should a non-member ask how to get points raised etc, you can now give them that link. though the thread is clearly named and stickied in the Senate.

C. Should you get harassed by someone to push a point for you, or getting angry because they think you let them down. Report them to a Mod or myself - they will get a minimum of a temp-ban. I will not countenance anyone harassing the Senate members.

6. Thumbs up, Thumbs down- You, and you alone, get to vote on Custom titles, Ban polls, new Usergroups and your own wages... damn you don't get paid, ah well at least you can vote on the first three.

7. Your Father smelt of Elderberries - Yes you can say what you like in here, and none of the non-Senators can reply or defend themselves. They can only look on in envy and disgust. However, I expect the members to behave themselves. You got in here on good conduct, don't change now.

8. Offices

A. The Chancellor

I. The Last word - In any vote, the Chancellor can only vote to break a tie. The Chancellor may not vote at any other time, nor show favourtism to a particular choice during the Polls duration. See the voting rules if you need clarification.

II. I have the Pooowweeer - When the Chancellor is away for a protracted period, his duties are shared by the Executors and the Emperor. They are bound by the same duties as the Chancellor when acting on his behalf. This does not, however, include restriction to the Chancellor's voting limitation. The Executors and the Emperor may continue to vote in all situations. Be aware though that the Emperor owns the Board and can act any way he wishes. Don't fuck him off!

B. The Whip

I. The Whip shall be elected from amongst the membership of the senate according to the rules of a Class C vote, the members nominating and seconding those persons they feel worthy of holding the post.

II.The Whip shall serve a term of one year unless resigning with due notice to the Chancellor and the Executors. At the end of each term the Whip shall be subject to a vote of confidence. This vote shall be for continuing the Whip's term or subjecting the post to a general election. It shall be conduted as a Category B vote. If the motion passes the Whip shall continue to serve. If the motion fails a period of one month shall be opened for new nominations. At the end of the month the election shall occur as in I. above. There is no limit to the number of terms a Whip may serve.

III.The Duties of the Whip shall be as follows:

a) Notifying all active members of the senate when any vote is occuring.
b) In absence of the Chancellor open all votes for membership comencing on the 24th (21st in February) of the month.
c) Maintain a current list of all active senators and hold count against quorum for all votes before the Senate.
d) Ensure all votes are conducted according to the rules of the Senate
e) Perform all other such duties as shall be assigned by the Chancellor, the Emperor, or the Executors.


1. Sig you sir - Pretty soon the rules on Sigs are going to change (and as above you get to discuss and vote on them), and that means you get more leeway on your sigs and your avatars.

2. Now moor mizpelligns - Yep, as mentioned in Rule 1, you can edit away on your posts in all the general forums with gay abandon. Just be aware that trying to win a debate by changing what you said will be the very last thing you ever want to think about!

3. Time to Horse around - The new Horsemen/women will be chosen from within the Senators, and new Mods get chosen from the Horsemen. You too could cause fear and terror to decend upon the masses (in HOS anyway). :)

4. Where everybody knows your name - That Senator tag means that everyone knows you have a bit (a very tiny bit admittedly) of clout, it also means that you have proven your Debating skills. It doesn't ensure you'll also get respect, but it can't hurt. 8)

5. Crystal Balls - who knows what the future will bring, but hopefully more perks. :D


1. Clear as mud - As mentioned in above, you guys get to discuss board policy, and discuss points raised by others. You can also air any problems you may believe exists that needs addressed. There are doubtless other types of thread that will come into existance on the Forum, so they need a heads up in the title :

[Discussion] = a talk about board policies.
[Point] = A point of interest either your own or one that has been passed to you for discussion by an other board member (remember Rule 4).
[Problem?] = Something you feel is wrong and needs to be debated or cleared up. However it should be something that can only be mentioned here (board software issues are handled in OT for instance).
[Vote] = These will only be started by Governors and above in the case of serious votes.
[Voted] = A vote thread that is closed. When the title of a poll is amended to this, then too late the poll is closed.
[Member] - Thread for nominating new members. A new one every 2nd of the month.
[Poll] = Something silly, a perfect example would be Skimmer's Budget Poll thread. the Board automatically adds this so you don't need to worry.

2. Oh yeah. Says who? - If your going to raise a Problem, or have a discussion, then make sure you can back up your arguements. Take the time to research your points and provide evidence for your stand if required. You're all seasoned debators, so this should be natural, but I'm laying it out here so there are no excuses.

3. Well Done or Medium Rare - The serious threads in here are a no flame area. You can't agree with someone, then can vent outside the thread. I'm not saying no swearing (after all saying "It's fucking clear" adds emphasis), but attacks on another member in a Serious thread will get you par-boiled by me as a minimum!
i) If you lose an argument I expect you to concede the fact and move on.
ii) The phrase 'Concession accepted' will be an automatic admission of losing on the part of whoever uses it in a serious debate.

4. Wheeeeee - The rest of the time this place is for fun, and pretending to be crooked politicians, so if it doesn't carry a Serious thread label Crack on and have fun. :D
What part of this have we, as the Senate, missed? What part of this needs to be changed? Why are we headed for a representitive group? Why do we allow our lessers to spout that we have no mandate to do thus? WTF?
You haven't missed anything, except possibly some of the fun you were meant to have with it. Idiots don't know how to read, so they assume and then you get people thinking the Senate is running the board and making rules. One or two threads get blown out of proportion by people that are butt hurt about the topic (The ban 100 random testing regulars), which of course they don't know was handled in the same thread, again because of idiotic lack of reading, and they latch on to it and use it as some made up battle cry of oppression.

Nothing needs to change about the Senate.
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
Posts: 30779
Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm

Re: Knife's "Our Purpose" Senate thread.

Post by Thanas » 2009-01-28 06:10am

Nothing needs to change about the senate
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
My LPs

User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 15675
Joined: 2002-08-30 02:40pm
Location: Behind the Zion Curtain

Re: Knife's "Our Purpose" Senate thread.

Post by Knife » 2009-01-28 01:49pm

Well obviously I agree, my intent is to bring up the discussion and end this nonsense once and for all, with enough Senators (and general board members here apparently) putting forth a position that can be referred back to and hopefully start bringing people up for punishment in the extreme cases if the manufactured drama doesn't stop.

We seem to keep tip toeing around the subject, so me being a blunt fellow, decided to get the ball rolling.
They say, "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots." I suppose it never occurred to them that they are the tyrants, not the patriots. Those weapons are not being used to fight some kind of tyranny; they are bringing them to an event where people are getting together to talk. -Mike Wong

But as far as board culture in general, I do think that young male overaggression is a contributing factor to the general atmosphere of hostility. It's not SOS and the Mess throwing hand grenades all over the forum- Red

User avatar
Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker.
Posts: 5776
Joined: 2004-02-26 09:44pm

Re: Knife's "Our Purpose" Senate thread.

Post by Phantasee » 2009-01-29 11:48am

Nothing needs to change about the Senate.
I don't know, I was thinking you could change one thing about it. Remember those grey Senator bars? It would be totally awesome if they got brought back, but with purple stripes on them. Like, either a couple vertical stripes on the very ends (kinda like suspenders), or a diagonal one from one corner to the opposite.

We gotta bring the Purple back to the Senate!

Also, strikethrough must be implemented.