[Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

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[Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Havok » 2009-10-09 07:29pm

Discussion on this, in part because I think it is interesting and it is going to happen anyway and to not clutter up the Perpetual Nomination Thread.
Mr. Bean wrote:My last four votes have been against increasing the number of Senators and I will continue to vote against any future members for the foreseeable future since Senate talk is normally limited to at best a dozen participates with the remaining Senator's coming in only for votes.
This is the main issue I think that everyone has on all sides. Non Participation.

The 'No bigger' crowd feels there is not enough participation from the people there so they don't want more members who won't participate.

The 'Downsize' crowd feels there is not enough participation, so chop those who don't.

The 'No size limit' crowd feels there is not enough participation, so get some new blood in there and maybe that will change.

From what I have been reading, that seems to be a fairly accurate version of how things are shaping up.

I guess, for the purpose of discussion, how do you rectify that problem?
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Aaron » 2009-10-09 07:47pm

Punt those who only come in for votes. If they aren't willing to discuss issues or put forth solutions, why keep them?
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Havok » 2009-10-09 07:54pm

Is that really the problem though? I mean, the entire 'fun aspect' of The Senate that Rob Wilson actually outlined in the rules has been lost and trampled on. Consequently, all that is left is showing up to vote or discuss bans or punishment. So based on what the forum has evolved into, those that simply show up for voting are doing what is required of them. Actually, based on what Wilkens has said, they don't even need to do that, they just need to respond to PMs about votes.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Aaron » 2009-10-09 08:03pm

Havok wrote:Is that really the problem though? I mean, the entire 'fun aspect' of The Senate that Rob Wilson actually outlined in the rules has been lost and trampled on. Consequently, all that is left is showing up to vote or discuss bans or punishment. So based on what the forum has evolved into, those that simply show up for voting are doing what is required of them. Actually, based on what Wilkens has said, they don't even need to do that, they just need to respond to PMs about votes.
Actually I think the "fun" aspect being lost was probably the result of us "plebes" bitching at them. And I honestly have no idea how you go about bringing that back if the Senate itself isn't interested in having it.

If the Senators are only required to respond to PM's and note even vote, well then I think the Senate has become nothing but an albatross around the boards neck.

How do we fix any of this? Fucked if I know. You could mandate that Senators actually vote but you can't force people to screw around and act like the Italian Parliament.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by LadyTevar » 2009-10-09 08:07pm

The Fun was lost when people started taking themselves too seriously and began believing they could dictate to the Admin and Mods.

Like Mr. Bean, I think the Senate has enough people. While he's been voting down 'the last 4', I've been voting down new members for about a year now. As I stated back when there were only 50 Senators, we've reached a quorum of the Board, we do not need more Senators. I will continue to vote against adding any Senators.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Havok » 2009-10-09 08:29pm

Merriam-Webster wrote:Main Entry: quo·rum
Pronunciation: \ˈkwȯr-əm\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, quorum of justices of the peace, from Latin, of whom, genitive plural of qui who; from the wording of the commission formerly issued to justices of the peace
Date: 1602

1 : a select group
2 : the number (as a majority) of officers or members of a body that when duly assembled is legally competent to transact business
3 : a Mormon body comprising those in the same grade of priesthood
You are either saying that you don't want anyone else in your 'select group', that you feel that 50 is what you need to conduct business, or that the rest of us aren't Mormon priests ranked similarly.

I'm going to scratch #3. :wink:

That leaves 1 and 2.
If it is just a select group, I wish people would just say so.
If it is that you have reached '50'... why 50? Why didn't you stop at 10. Why let anyone besides the original members in at all. What is the difference if 75 people are involved in a vote or discussion over 50?
The Senate itself is a reward for being a solid poster that contributes to the board. For you to say that 50 is the max is tantamount to saying that the no one else but that 50 is worthy of said reward.

If it literally is 'OMG The Senate is just to big'... Why?
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by aerius » 2009-10-09 08:31pm

I say fire the entire senate and start from scratch.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Havok » 2009-10-09 08:33pm

aerius wrote:I say fire the entire senate and start from scratch.
Care to elaborate? Not that any of this is on the table, but Scorched Earth is pretty extreme.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by rhoenix » 2009-10-09 08:41pm

Alright, I'll throw in this thought. Unless there are some plans in motion to change how things are running now, I'm quite honestly not seeing a good reason for the Senate's existence, now that the House of Commons is up.

To elaborate - the point of the Senate that still applies is conveying the requests and will of the forum populace to the moderators and administrators, along with a few other things. This is not quite necessary now that ordinary users can post and reply to threads in the House of Commons.

Perhaps mods could simply rotate the mod(s) responsible for maintaining the House of Commons once every three months, if there's a question of responsibility to the greater forum populace, but beyond that, I don't see a good reason for the Senate being as it is.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by aerius » 2009-10-09 08:42pm

Havok wrote:Care to elaborate? Not that any of this is on the table, but Scorched Earth is pretty extreme.
The Senate started as an "old boys' club" and added worthy members every now & then, most of the old boys seem to just show up to vote and don't seem to do dick all other than that. Frankly it's a lot like unionized government work, lots of members are just punching the clock without doing any real work, might as well shitcan them all and start from the beginning. Say, we need 30 senators to start, get the HoC to nominate a pool of candidates and figure out a voting procedure to vote them in.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Aaron » 2009-10-09 08:48pm

Havok wrote: The Senate itself is a reward for being a solid poster that contributes to the board. For you to say that 50 is the max is tantamount to saying that the no one else but that 50 is worthy of said reward.

If it literally is 'OMG The Senate is just to big'... Why?
The Senate was originally supposed to be a reward, though the perks at this point seem to be pointless. Everyone can edit their own posts within a certain time frame, the Senate tags above the AV are gone (so we can't tell off hand who is one) and there is little board policy to advise on it seems.

I find myself agreeing with rhoenix, there doesn't seem to be any good reason to maintain the Senate now that the HoC is up. Idea was good, execution was somewhat lacking I'm afraid.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Mr Bean » 2009-10-09 08:57pm

Havok wrote:
aerius wrote:I say fire the entire senate and start from scratch.
Care to elaborate? Not that any of this is on the table, but Scorched Earth is pretty extreme.
I voted that to begin with
http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic. ... 26&start=0
In essence the idea was the Senate would be limited to twenty three people, one Chancellor and twenty two senators(Two for every month but December which was the Chancellor)

Instead of the current model of voting in new people on top the old. Each month two Senator's would be up to keep their job or be replaced by someone new. It kept the Senate lively because you had to try and keep your spot when you got one. I blame the just completed campaign season for giving me the idea in the first place but I still like the general idea of a very small Senate were members are swapped one for one not simply pilled on top of the old ones until two years form now we have a hundred odd person senate and as more people are voted in more people will be voted in as individual power of the anti-expansion folks dies out and those coming in will want to expand more having benefited from it themselves.


FYI my old campaign idea died a firey death so I don't want to go re-purposing it, but I still like the idea that the Senate is X number of people and new Senator's replace old ones.

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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by RedImperator » 2009-10-10 01:04am

aerius wrote:
Havok wrote:Care to elaborate? Not that any of this is on the table, but Scorched Earth is pretty extreme.
The Senate started as an "old boys' club" and added worthy members every now & then, most of the old boys seem to just show up to vote and don't seem to do dick all other than that. Frankly it's a lot like unionized government work, lots of members are just punching the clock without doing any real work, might as well shitcan them all and start from the beginning. Say, we need 30 senators to start, get the HoC to nominate a pool of candidates and figure out a voting procedure to vote them in.
If we're going to blow up the Senate, let's make it an annual event. Every year, the whole Senate comes up for reelection. Give Mike a veto so no fuckheads or joke nominees get in, but other than that, let the board decide. Frankly, I think the problem with the Senate is that the decision making has crept back up to the mod forum and the hollering and screaming has crept down to the HoC, but I don't know how to fix that.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by ray245 » 2009-10-10 01:34am

LadyTevar wrote:The Fun was lost when people started taking themselves too seriously and began believing they could dictate to the Admin and Mods.

Like Mr. Bean, I think the Senate has enough people. While he's been voting down 'the last 4', I've been voting down new members for about a year now. As I stated back when there were only 50 Senators, we've reached a quorum of the Board, we do not need more Senators. I will continue to vote against adding any Senators.
So? There are many people can easily be better senators than the people who were nominated and voted into the Senate a long time ago.

I have no problems with limiting the size of the senate, but I do have a problem with limiting the senate to a first come first serve basis.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Oni Koneko Damien » 2009-10-10 01:46am

aerius wrote:
Havok wrote:Care to elaborate? Not that any of this is on the table, but Scorched Earth is pretty extreme.
The Senate started as an "old boys' club" and added worthy members every now & then, most of the old boys seem to just show up to vote and don't seem to do dick all other than that. Frankly it's a lot like unionized government work, lots of members are just punching the clock without doing any real work, might as well shitcan them all and start from the beginning. Say, we need 30 senators to start, get the HoC to nominate a pool of candidates and figure out a voting procedure to vote them in.
The only problem I have with this is that there's really no longer any perks to being a Senator. You no longer have a special tag above your name. You don't have any regular posting privelages that everyone else doesn't already have. You *can* post on a forum that most other people can only see... and usually get bitched at for it. And you can hold debates over meaningless things, or meaningful things whose end result is that you can 'suggest' action to a supermod or Mike.

I say leave it the ineffectual group of middlemen/women it has become. I mean come on, if it weren't for the continual drama between testing, the senate, and now the HoC, 2/3's of the activity on this side of the board would be gone.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Mr. Coffee » 2009-10-10 01:48am

How about just keeping the number at 50, but pull a UN Security Council and have the only perminent members of the Senate be those that are moderators or admins and the rest only serve for 6 month terms. A month before the term ends HoC can toss out some names for nominees, the current Senate can debate the merits of each candidate and then vote on them. That way we keep the small size, we get rid of the notion that the Senate is some sort of super-dooper elite clubhouse, and maybe the changing of the ranks twice a year will help spark up actual debate and movement in the senate.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Ritterin Sophia » 2009-10-10 09:29am

Not that I'm completely sold on the whole 'Fixed Number of Senators' Movement, but if I had to pick one of the plans put forward as to the selection process I'd pick Beans'. If I could I'd like to suggest that a debate in the Colloseum could be used as a deciding factor in the process, it would certainly solve the problem of the (as of now useless) Colloseum and would keep Senators active.

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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Big Phil » 2009-10-10 11:20am

Oni Koneko Damien wrote:I say leave it the ineffectual group of middlemen/women it has become. I mean come on, if it weren't for the continual drama between testing, the senate, and now the HoC, 2/3's of the activity on this side of the board would be gone.
Since you're not from the Seattle area (in the mid-80's to 90's) I doubt this'll mean much too you, but it sounds like you're describing the Senate as "Ineffective Middle-Management Suckups" :lol:

And for what my non-vote is worth, I like Mr. Bean's suggestion. Unless of course if being a Senator really means so much to some people that they might cry if it were taken away... :roll:
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Big Phil » 2009-10-10 11:25am

Mr. Coffee wrote:How about just keeping the number at 50, but pull a UN Security Council and have the only perminent members of the Senate be those that are moderators or admins and the rest only serve for 6 month terms. A month before the term ends HoC can toss out some names for nominees, the current Senate can debate the merits of each candidate and then vote on them. That way we keep the small size, we get rid of the notion that the Senate is some sort of super-dooper elite clubhouse, and maybe the changing of the ranks twice a year will help spark up actual debate and movement in the senate.
I wonder how many people here at SDNet actually think of the Senate as comprising the "elites" of this board, as opposed to a bunch of stuck up fatty nerds who think they're pretty pretty princesses because they can call themselves SDNet "Senators." In other words, is being a Senator actually perceived as a reward for good behavior, or has it become somewhat of a joke, sort of like the Roman Senate after Julius Caesar or today's House of Lords?

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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Ace Pace » 2009-10-10 12:21pm

Depends. I was pretty happy with the original list of senators besides a few exceptions who were plainly there for seniority. I'm also pretty happy about some of the nominations. It's the senates actions that make it seem pathetic and outside that forum, most posters act the same as the rest.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Enigma » 2009-10-10 06:30pm

I'd recommend dropping those that have been inactive for at least six months. Should they return then they can petition the Senate for reinstatement. Cap the number of senators to what it is now and forgo elections for the time being.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by rhoenix » 2009-10-10 08:00pm

In reading what Stark said in the mod forum, I agree with his assessment that a clear purpose for the Senate as it is now, and as it will be going into the future is necessary before a decision is made as to what is to be done.

This is my suggestion - for every mod of a given forum, have one Senator as the voice of the forum populace for that given forum, who would be changed regularly - say every 6 months. This would give each forum more traffic, as they'd be able to vote for their Senator every 6 months to act as a counterbalance to the mod for that forum, and for the forums in general. I would further suggest that modship for a given forum be given to a person who has proven to be an exemplary Senator for that forum in the opinion of the forum populace and other mods, but that's a step beyond.

Basically, I think the issue is mainly that of stagnancy, and how to solve it. In this regard, making the Senator position more dynamic and less numerous would solve both issues.

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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by J » 2009-10-10 11:38pm

RedImperator wrote:If we're going to blow up the Senate, let's make it an annual event. Every year, the whole Senate comes up for reelection. Give Mike a veto so no fuckheads or joke nominees get in, but other than that, let the board decide. Frankly, I think the problem with the Senate is that the decision making has crept back up to the mod forum and the hollering and screaming has crept down to the HoC, but I don't know how to fix that.
Oh god, no. The last thing I want to see is an annual election campaign.
Unless of course I can get some really nice kickbacks from the candidates.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by thejester » 2009-10-11 12:03am

RedImperator wrote:
aerius wrote:
Havok wrote:Care to elaborate? Not that any of this is on the table, but Scorched Earth is pretty extreme.
The Senate started as an "old boys' club" and added worthy members every now & then, most of the old boys seem to just show up to vote and don't seem to do dick all other than that. Frankly it's a lot like unionized government work, lots of members are just punching the clock without doing any real work, might as well shitcan them all and start from the beginning. Say, we need 30 senators to start, get the HoC to nominate a pool of candidates and figure out a voting procedure to vote them in.
If we're going to blow up the Senate, let's make it an annual event. Every year, the whole Senate comes up for reelection. Give Mike a veto so no fuckheads or joke nominees get in, but other than that, let the board decide. Frankly, I think the problem with the Senate is that the decision making has crept back up to the mod forum and the hollering and screaming has crept down to the HoC, but I don't know how to fix that.
Does it need to be fixed? The Senate has always been advisory - the mods/admin wield the actual power. I thought when it was created that the HoC rendered the Senate a bit redundant and that seems to have been the case. It doesn't seem to have a role anymore...so why keep it?
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal Size Of The Senate

Post by Stark » 2009-10-11 02:28am

J wrote:Oh god, no. The last thing I want to see is an annual election campaign.
Why not? It'd make it even easier to see the senators as jokes.
J wrote:Unless of course I can get some really nice kickbacks from the candidates.
What possible benefit could giving you a kickback possibly give a candidate, aside from the possibility of you shutting the fuck up?

Oh and sorry for killing the Senate discussion, lol. I think it's interesting that only about six people are even participating in that thread, highlighting that most Senators either have no opinion or no idea; clearly very useful individuals. As Red highlighted, it's even a strong showing of newer Senators in the discussion; older Senators perhaps see their position as not worthy of discussion.

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