[Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by Stark » 2009-10-12 05:11pm

Define 'busy'. At what period was the Senate 'busy' and 'busy' doing what?

Flailing around about 'hate' when Hotfoot just demonstrated how little it does of it's only real power is just childish. Contrary to what the raw stats suggest, I think that the Senate tended to look at borderline cases or those requiring arbitration and the majority will always be on-the-spot bans of obvious trolls, but getting butthurt about public opinion regarding a bunch of self-aggrandising pompous gits is meaningless to the discussion.

The idea that people are 'engineering board drama' for their 'own boredom and amusement' is absolutely hilarious. The Zeon Solution is to immediately stop discussing the issue because... she doesn't like the people raising the issue? :lol: It's actually fantastic that the only people actually looking at facts are those interested in reform, the implications of which should be obvious.

EDIT - What the hell is 'personal investment in the community' and why should it be important? Are you saying we should ignore someone if they don't come to the sunday mixer?

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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-10-12 05:33pm

My point was that nothing is actually going wrong on the board, so why are we discussing changes?
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by Stark » 2009-10-12 05:40pm

Are you fucking serious? Your response to this discussion is 'there is no problem'?

BTW, that isn't what you said. You complained that people are just agitating because they don't care and get a kick out of it, in an attempt to paint any reformers as 'bad people'.
The obvious conclusion is that people just hate the Senate no matter what it does, and that this thread is therefore entirely irrelevant. We have tried pandering to this certain clique which engineers most of the board drama out of their own boredom and amusement at the results, who have no real personal investment in the community, and as we can see they will never be satisfied, and this issue should simply be dropped and further protestation ignored.

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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-10-12 05:48pm

The Duchess of Zeon wrote:My point was that nothing is actually going wrong on the board, so why are we discussing changes?
Duchess never takes her car to the shop unless it's got bits falling off, I see. Or goes to the doctor unless a lung is coming out.

The Senate is stagnating, not due to size or responsibilities or any of that, but because it's been effectively replaced. Rather than keep a failed organ attached, I'm saying we lop it off and put it in a jar before it gets so badly infected that it spreads. There's no more need for a Senate, why keep it? So far, nobody in or out of the Senate has provided any sort of justification for its continued existence beyond "Um, because" or "we can make simple and quick tasks long and needlessly complex!"

I'll put this simply, as I alluded to before:

SENATE! YOU HAVE NO CLOTHES ON! WE ALL SEE YOUR GIBLETS! PLEASE COVER UP!*


*For those of you who don't get the reference, please read as: Senate, we are useless. Everyone with eyes can see it. Please stop hiding the fact by pretending it's caused by some other factor, like size, or imagined powers that were lost, or that some group of people you don't like are at the cause of this. It's really not anyone's fault, the nature of the board has changed from the inception of the Senate to a point where we don't really need it anymore. Why should we keep around a useless thing? How many times have forums and subforums been voted down here because they don't get enough traffic and/or use? Why can't we apply that to ourselves?
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by Stark » 2009-10-12 05:50pm

As others have said repeatedly, the very inclusion of software changes like the report button seriously reduced the Senate's role at a stroke. That's not due to evil agitators, that's just functionality.

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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-10-12 05:56pm

If you think the Senate is useless, are you willing to resign from it?
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-10-12 06:04pm

The Duchess of Zeon wrote:If you think the Senate is useless, are you willing to resign from it?
That doesn't solve the problem, now does it? Think for a second. I'm calling for shutting the whole thing down. By that very act, I would be resigning as a Senator along with everyone else. What I am unwilling to do, however, is simply run away and let the inmates run the asylum. I have long held the view that if you CAN make a change, you should, even if it's not easy. That's why I never joined the "Emigrate to Canada/Europe" crowd in 2000, 2004, or 2008, and why I took a job in one of the toughest damn districts in the nation to try and give the kids there the sort of education they deserved!

Don't you dare try to turn this into a "Like it or Leave it" scenario. I refuse to let this sort of crass manipulation and deception interfere with honest debate. Shit like that may fly in the RNC, but we're not really politicians and I resent this asinine comment at the face of it.

The very NATURE of this discussion involves NOBODY being a Senator anymore, and that all of us can talk equally about these things without these stupid airs of pretense and undeserved elitism.

I invite you to think a bit more carefully before your next response.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-10-12 06:10pm

Hotfoot wrote: I invite you to think a bit more carefully before your next response.
Do whatever you want, then. If I wake up one day and the Senate isn't here, I won't give a fuck. My only concern is that Greg gets the supermodship he deserves if this place disappears.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-10-12 06:13pm

The Duchess of Zeon wrote:
Hotfoot wrote: I invite you to think a bit more carefully before your next response.
Do whatever you want, then. If I wake up one day and the Senate isn't here, I won't give a fuck. My only concern is that Greg gets the supermodship he deserves if this place disappears.
Greg being a supermod would certainly be a bonus, if the admins allow it.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by Thanas » 2009-10-12 06:36pm

The Duchess of Zeon wrote:
Hotfoot wrote: I invite you to think a bit more carefully before your next response.
Do whatever you want, then. If I wake up one day and the Senate isn't here, I won't give a fuck. My only concern is that Greg gets the supermodship he deserves if this place disappears.
While I have no objections to Wilkens being made a mod, I do not really think that this is any valid argument that has a place in this thread. I mean, this is not the end of an empire where various princes haggle over positions.

Now, I for one am not ready to abolish the senate yet. I am not convinced that we do need to stop to exist. So why don't we call for a vote and let the senators have their say?

In fact, I'll go flat out and make the motion to have a simple yes/no vote on whether to abolish the senate right here, right now. Do I have a second?
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by LadyTevar » 2009-10-12 06:38pm

Stuart wrote:If the overall size of the Senate is indeed considered to be a problem, then what is the size that does not constitute a problem? I understand that the current membership is 55 people. If that is believed to be an acceptable size, then the problem becomes how to keep it there. If 55 is considered too large, then the problem becomes how can it be reduced to the selected size?

In this context, I believe that blindly voting against any new member is the worst of all possible actions. It might acheive the desired result but does so at the cost of making the Senate an old-boys club, inaccessible to the evolving membership and thus increasingly irrelevent to it. A better solution should be found.

I propose the following. The membership list of the Senate includes the date on which each member joined. They can, therefore, be ranked by duration of membership. If several were elevated on the same day, they can be listed in alphabetical order for that day. Then, when a new member is proposed for elevation, each new member is paired with the longest-serving existing member and the Senate gets to chose between them (the "Nobody" vote being eliminated since it duplicates the effect of voting for the existing member). If the proposed new member wins, he takes the existing member's seat. If the existing member wins, then no change.

If it is desired to whittle down the number of members, then this can be done by simply facing off the two longest-serving members against one proposed new member. This would quickly whittle down the number to any desired level.

This system would require a certain level of administrative paperwork (and the details of the existing member's voting and posting record would have to be made public) but the basic problem would be solved.

This, of course, does not address the problem of why the Senate exists at all. Here, I agree with Red Imperator that disciplinary problems should be referred to the Senate for final disposition (subject only to Mike's Veto of course). It seems to me that the loss of this power is a retrograde step and one that should be reversed.
This is probably one of the best Ideas I've heard in a while. Just make sure this also covers Senators Emeritous.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by LadyTevar » 2009-10-12 06:39pm

Thanas wrote: In fact, I'll go flat out and make the motion to have a simple yes/no vote on whether to abolish the senate right here, right now. Do I have a second?
Second
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by Stark » 2009-10-12 06:51pm

Nevermind Zeon, I found them.

It's amusing to note that the HoC thread on this issue is longer and proceeded without this kind of play-acting. Some people genuinely want to answer questions around the role, duties and membership of the Senate; others are so offended their meaningless club is being rationally examined they want to take their bat and ball and go home. And we're the 'elite'?

A vote on the issue at this point would be meaningless and just be more Senate busywork. How can anyone expect a meaningful consensus when most voters haven't participated in the discussions that are not complete?

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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by CmdrWilkens » 2009-10-12 07:30pm

LadyTevar wrote:
Thanas wrote: In fact, I'll go flat out and make the motion to have a simple yes/no vote on whether to abolish the senate right here, right now. Do I have a second?
Second

The chair objects and the motion is out of order.


No seriously the motion is out of order, call me a bit dictatorial if you wish but I am not going to hold a vote over disbanding the Senate. If Mike and the admins think we've run our course fine but in the interim no body on holds the power to vacate itself and I interpret that to mean the Senate cannot vote itself out of existence.


Why one may ask? The Senate was created originally because criticism of board policy or mod decision was (and IS) subject to the ban hammer. The Senate was conceived of as a place where exerpeienced and reasonable members could, in the open, speak about that which was otherwise forbidden. As the creation came about the Senate was granted the pwoer to decide on lesser punishments and vote on ban polls. Since the board started there have been, and will be again, marginal cases where a user may or may not deserve the ban hammer, a CT, or some other form of punishment. The Senate's role then and now is to ADVISE the mod staff. The HOC does not serve this purpose nor do I think it should.

That being said the Senate is far from perfect. The quality of the membership is certainly of some question and I know there are more than a few individuals who have objectiosn to my paticular style of operating this forum. That I tend to be overly officious and folks find that objectionable or otherwise disagree with my methods I find well enough (hell I even gave folks a mechanism to kick me out of office).

There are plenty of low traffic forums on this board and I think it honestly would be for the best if the Senate was one of them however traffic level does not a reason for removal make and unless and until the admins come down and tell me that the Senate has served its purpose I will not open or condone a vote for us to remove ourselves.


Total aside but to Marina's point I would be honored if I got such a post BUT if I were told 5 minutes from now that the forum was closing I would happily go back to being an occasional OT/N&P poster who likes the STGOD sub forum. Board administration position would be nice but that is all and I'm not going to put a price on holding a dissolution vote.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by Stark » 2009-10-12 07:36pm

Good call, Wilkens. I'm eager to see much more discussion.

In that vein, what about the HoC do you think stops it being 'advisory'? I want to say that nobody is more suprised it appears effective than me (I thought it was literally a joke), but if the decisions are made by the mods-and-up, what does it matter if the discussion includes everyone or just the 'elite' Senators? I'm sure the supermods can read a thread and deal with signal to noise.

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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-10-12 08:16pm

CmdrWilkens wrote:The chair objects and the motion is out of order.


No seriously the motion is out of order, call me a bit dictatorial if you wish but I am not going to hold a vote over disbanding the Senate. If Mike and the admins think we've run our course fine but in the interim no body on holds the power to vacate itself and I interpret that to mean the Senate cannot vote itself out of existence.
Personally, I think it would be the best chance for the Senate to show its general maturity and rationality to be allowed to end itself, to end things on a high note if you will, rather than to be shut down later on as a total broken shell of what it once was, living on life support.

I don't think the vote should be now, of course. As I said, I want to actually discuss this because it warrants discussing. Moving to vote without discussion is one of the things we're not supposed to do here. That we take time do discuss things properly is supposed to be the strength of the Senate, even if it is also our greatest weakness.
Why one may ask? The Senate was created originally because criticism of board policy or mod decision was (and IS) subject to the ban hammer. The Senate was conceived of as a place where exerpeienced and reasonable members could, in the open, speak about that which was otherwise forbidden. As the creation came about the Senate was granted the pwoer to decide on lesser punishments and vote on ban polls. Since the board started there have been, and will be again, marginal cases where a user may or may not deserve the ban hammer, a CT, or some other form of punishment. The Senate's role then and now is to ADVISE the mod staff. The HOC does not serve this purpose nor do I think it should.
Actually, I'd say it does. Mike himself made a thread in the HoC where he takes direct advisement from all members of the board. Granted, it's for a quote of the week, but previously such a thread would have been the bailiwick of the Senate almost exclusively. It's also started more discussions and movements for policy change than the Senate would ordinarily. One of the most telling examples was Strikethrough, something which had been suggested to the Senate multiple times in the past, and was always relatively easy to implement, but always seemed to meet with resistance, or at least lack of inertia in the Senate handling of the situation.

In fact, there's really nothing wrong with people making suggestions about board code, policies, or so forth in the House of Commons, as long as they are reasonable about it. Unreasonable things get locked and flushed, much like any other forum.

As far as banning, serious cases are handled directly these days as they rightly should be, we don't have the show trials like we did much earlier in the board's history, they just disappear when they go too far, and there aren't as many these days.

Titling...well, that's even less common. I can't even remember the last time the Senate handed out a title anyway.
That being said the Senate is far from perfect. The quality of the membership is certainly of some question and I know there are more than a few individuals who have objectiosn to my paticular style of operating this forum. That I tend to be overly officious and folks find that objectionable or otherwise disagree with my methods I find well enough (hell I even gave folks a mechanism to kick me out of office).
So does that mean if we kick you out, then we can vote to dissolve ourselves? :P
There are plenty of low traffic forums on this board and I think it honestly would be for the best if the Senate was one of them however traffic level does not a reason for removal make and unless and until the admins come down and tell me that the Senate has served its purpose I will not open or condone a vote for us to remove ourselves.
To be honest, I'd like to see SWvST, PSW, and PST locked and archived and all subsequent traffic routed to OSF, which would be re-named simply, "Science Fiction". The need for those original forums has long since passed.

See, it's not just the low level of traffic. If it was just that, I'd say keep on. In fact, before the HoC, that's exactly what I've said. The matter here is duplication of purpose. One forum does the job better than another. Why keep the forum that's not performing? If the need comes back, ever, it's the simplest thing in the world to unlock the forum and put it into active duty again. Nothing need be deleted, it would just be mothballed. Even the Senate usergroup could be altered to show the status of former Senators to show that they took part in this place.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by Thanas » 2009-10-12 08:41pm

I find it pretty ridiculous that there is a call for more discussion instead of a vote when it is quite clear the majority of senators is not going to participate in the discussion, which is probably due to them having already made up their mind.

Wilken's argument against a vote for the senate also holds no water. If the purpose of the senate is to discuss board policy, then yes, this means it can dissolve itself as that is a matter of board policy. If Mike et al chose to disregard that advice and keep the senate open, more power to them, but I see no reasons the mods cannot simply take over the role of the senate.

To be honest, I have said my piece and I think I'll remove myself from any further discussion on the subject. If you want to continue this ad nauseam, please do, but if we cannot have a vote on it the whole discussion is meaningless as at least one position in this thread is "the senate is useless, let's end it". If we cannot at least have a vote on whether the majority of senators agree with this (aka whether the whole idea is even feasible or just a few people clamoring for it) then any kind of discussion on this point is moot for the outcome has already been declared - the senate will still exist.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by Stark » 2009-10-12 08:52pm

Frankly, I'm not interested in discussion from a 'change the opinion of Senators' view - as you say, they're unlikely to be swayed if they haven't already. I think it's of merit to discuss the issue so everyone else can understand the decision in context - if it came out that the Senate has a useful thing to do, I'd be surprised if it was implemented. If we could have a vote between 'disband' and 'take on xyz useful role that came out of discussion' I'd be pleased, especially if it meant members had a choice between actually doing something besides being pompous and closing the forum.

I'm not clear what your position is, Thanas, aside from seeing the futility of further discussion in the Senate (which I agree with).

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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by Thanas » 2009-10-12 08:57pm

My position is that we first have to determine whether there should even still be a senate before then proceeding on whether it should be changed or not. You know, at least lay some groundwork and establish the least common denominator before moving forward.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by Patrick Degan » 2009-10-13 12:02am

Hotfoot wrote:
Patrick Degan wrote:It seems I may not be the only one "missing the point". Because it's rather curious if, as you say, there is no reason for the existence of the Senate, that you are even bothering with arguing the issue instead of simply dropping out of it altogether. Why should you even care?

As for myself, if Mike decided to abolish this little subgroup tomorrow, then I'm just as I was before I was offered membership in it: back to being an ordinary member of SDNet. Same as if we voted ourselves out of existence (which seems absurd to go through such a motion if, as you are arguing, this body hasn't even a justifiable reason for being) or just let it atrophy. What will be, will be.

Beyond that, surely you must realise the absurdity of attempting to argue the raison d'etre of something which is part of what is, essentially, a hobby —an activity/interest which by strict criteria serves no practical purpose to begin with.
I'm trying to get everyone to open their damn eyes and see the reality of the situation. The Senate is a useless body and scrambling to keep it open is a waste of time and effort. I'm willing to listen to reasonable arguments or suggestions that gives the Senate an actual purpose, but right now, I'm not hearing any, period.
Except it seems you have closed your mind to any sort of argument other than "the Senate is useless and therefore should cease to exist". I see no room for reasonable discourse proceeding from an initial premise as that.
As for the "whatever shall be shall be" attitude, how laughable is that? It HIGHLIGHTS the ridiculous nature of the current Senate that so few are willing to argue the point or even care about the results. When the very existence of the very Senate itself is the discussion, we have such anemic arguments as "whatever will be shall be".
You have stated your opinion that the members of this subgroup are operating from a lack of perspective while engaging in a position which shows a profound lack of perspective vis-a-vis the realities of why the owner of this board indulged the creation of this subgroup in the first place and that it has always existed entirely at his whim. SDNet is not now nor has ever been a democracy. That's reality. The Senate has the function which the owner of SDNet deigns to allow it. That's reality. There has been no formal "stripping of powers" from this subgroup and it still exists as a sounding board apart from the other forums as necessary. But don't for a second ever pretend that it was anything other than ceremonial in the first place, because it wasn't. That's reality and always has been. It's Mike's board and he can do whatever he wants with it, which is logical after all —it's his property. Which is why serious discussions regarding whether or not the Senate should even exist at all or is or is not fulfilling some weighty function here are moot.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-10-13 12:22am

Patrick Degan wrote:Except it seems you have closed your mind to any sort of argument other than "the Senate is useless and therefore should cease to exist". I see no room for reasonable discourse proceeding from an initial premise as that.
Then you don't understand my position at all. An attempt to give the Senate something to do that is done more efficiently by another, already existing body is not something worthwhile. To have purpose, the task must be something to which the Senate is uniquely suited. If, as Mike has said, our task is to moderate the moderators, then so be it. I was under the impression that this task was not needed or desired due to the fact that it really wasn't outlined or upheld by existing data.

Don't mistake my shooting down some of the more laughable ideas presented thus far as a total non-acceptance of ideas, just a non-acceptance of poor ideas. I don't see a need to put the group on life support by cobbling together unnecessary busy work for it to do. If it should continue to exist, it should provide something useful.
You have stated your opinion that the members of this subgroup are operating from a lack of perspective while engaging in a position which shows a profound lack of perspective vis-a-vis the realities of why the owner of this board indulged the creation of this subgroup in the first place and that it has always existed entirely at his whim. SDNet is not now nor has ever been a democracy. That's reality. The Senate has the function which the owner of SDNet deigns to allow it. That's reality. There has been no formal "stripping of powers" from this subgroup and it still exists as a sounding board apart from the other forums as necessary. But don't for a second ever pretend that it was anything other than ceremonial in the first place, because it wasn't. That's reality and always has been. It's Mike's board and he can do whatever he wants with it, which is logical after all —it's his property. Which is why serious discussions regarding whether or not the Senate should even exist at all or is or is not fulfilling some weighty function here are moot.
And should we, as an advisory body, realize that we are no longer needed, what better final advisement could we make than to recommend our disbandment or immediate reassignment of duties? Yes, this is Mike's board, but we are supposed to be the bridge between the staff and the users, and in the effort of doing that job, you can damn well bet that if I think we're useless as we are, I'm going to say so, just as I speak my mind about every other subject that I feel my input could be valuable on.

Handwaving away the responsibility you accepted by joining the Senate to avoid serious discussion of the matter by essentially saying "it doesn't matter what anyone does, Mike will do what he will" is nonsensical. Of course Mike is going to ultimately do whatever the hell he wants, that's a given. We're here to give our take on it. Bring problems to light, offer solutions, and make suggestions.

If we have no issues left and in fact have nothing left to do, THAT IS THE PROBLEM. My position is simple, either we come up with a legitimate task, which so far only Mike has offered up for certain (Red and a few others made noises in that direction earlier, but didn't have any sort of official backing there), or we offer the other solution to the problem of a dead forum: Lock it up and put it away until such time as it may be needed again.

So if you disagree, that's your option, but it's my opinion that dead weight needs to be cut or made useful, and if that means I suggest we close the doors of the Senate, I will suggest it, and if we don't actually get a new purpose, I will suggest it again if I feel it's a viable option.

In fact, I will continue my offshoot about the Star Wars and Star Trek forums in the near future, since I do think that they have outlived their usefulness.
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by The Yosemite Bear » 2009-10-13 05:46am

I still don't agree with you that the system is broken, you've called my Don Quixte (Who incidentally is the only sane person in the book, because the inquisition is in charge.) But our evidence of voting no when we have felt that the canidates are too numourus or not to our merit, has worked. I may be bi-polar, with Aspergers, but I am somewhat intellegent (even for a California Redneck whose mostly self educated)
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Re: [Discussion]Ideal size of the Senate

Post by CmdrWilkens » 2009-10-13 10:07am

Hotfoot wrote:
CmdrWilkens wrote:The chair objects and the motion is out of order.

No seriously the motion is out of order, call me a bit dictatorial if you wish but I am not going to hold a vote over disbanding the Senate. If Mike and the admins think we've run our course fine but in the interim no body on holds the power to vacate itself and I interpret that to mean the Senate cannot vote itself out of existence.
Personally, I think it would be the best chance for the Senate to show its general maturity and rationality to be allowed to end itself, to end things on a high note if you will, rather than to be shut down later on as a total broken shell of what it once was, living on life support.

I don't think the vote should be now, of course. As I said, I want to actually discuss this because it warrants discussing. Moving to vote without discussion is one of the things we're not supposed to do here. That we take time do discuss things properly is supposed to be the strength of the Senate, even if it is also our greatest weakness.
Why one may ask? The Senate was created originally because criticism of board policy or mod decision was (and IS) subject to the ban hammer. The Senate was conceived of as a place where exerpeienced and reasonable members could, in the open, speak about that which was otherwise forbidden. As the creation came about the Senate was granted the pwoer to decide on lesser punishments and vote on ban polls. Since the board started there have been, and will be again, marginal cases where a user may or may not deserve the ban hammer, a CT, or some other form of punishment. The Senate's role then and now is to ADVISE the mod staff. The HOC does not serve this purpose nor do I think it should.
Actually, I'd say it does. Mike himself made a thread in the HoC where he takes direct advisement from all members of the board. Granted, it's for a quote of the week, but previously such a thread would have been the bailiwick of the Senate almost exclusively. It's also started more discussions and movements for policy change than the Senate would ordinarily. One of the most telling examples was Strikethrough, something which had been suggested to the Senate multiple times in the past, and was always relatively easy to implement, but always seemed to meet with resistance, or at least lack of inertia in the Senate handling of the situation.

In fact, there's really nothing wrong with people making suggestions about board code, policies, or so forth in the House of Commons, as long as they are reasonable about it. Unreasonable things get locked and flushed, much like any other forum.

As far as banning, serious cases are handled directly these days as they rightly should be, we don't have the show trials like we did much earlier in the board's history, they just disappear when they go too far, and there aren't as many these days.

Titling...well, that's even less common. I can't even remember the last time the Senate handed out a title anyway.
The problem becomes the matter of the rather loose nature of the HOC. While certainly it is possible and even likely that members of this board could have reasoned discussions on board policy history has shown an almost infinite supply of stupidity ready to interject itself into such debates. The Senate, certainly, is far from immune to this btu by limiting the pool of available voices the likelyhood of such comments drops and the mechanism of the Senate also allows those voices to be removed from future discussion without removing themfrom the board. In turn I hold that as one of the cheif weakneses of the HOC, if a member goes overboard and exceeds the mandate of an advisory body there is no means of punishment short of board wide restrictions. The Senate as an advisory body can simply vote to remove a member who acts as such.

On bannings and titlings there shouldn't be that many. Honestly I thinkt he forum mods have stepped up in recent months since we shuffled the staff and have been able to head off most stupidity at the pass BUT there will always bemarginal cases. Just because we haven't had any recently doesn't mean we won't have any in the future. There should be some body which can openly discuss whether or not a board member is deserving punishment when the case is not clear cut to the mod staff. Recall that the central complaint which led to this idea was that of closed door justice. While nothing obligates the Mods and Admins providing commentary on why a decision was taken the board's general culture shoudl promote this kind of open communication. Now certainly this could result in the Senate mostly being a dead forum 10 or more months out of the year but I can think of two or three other forums that are about as well populated by new topics.

Basically my question is this: If we were to disband the Senate who would handle the marginal cases where the mods do not agree?
That being said the Senate is far from perfect. The quality of the membership is certainly of some question and I know there are more than a few individuals who have objectiosn to my paticular style of operating this forum. That I tend to be overly officious and folks find that objectionable or otherwise disagree with my methods I find well enough (hell I even gave folks a mechanism to kick me out of office).
So does that mean if we kick you out, then we can vote to dissolve ourselves? :P
Oddly enough yes. I would like to think I'm open minded enough to know my style of running this forum is not the only style that woudl work so in turn some other Chancellor might very well find a vote on dissolution in order. All you would have to do is open a vote of no confidence and kick me out. I would accept that mostly because a) I set up the structure because I hope it could work even if I wasn't the guy at the helm and b) I think I could probably prevail in such a vote :D
There are plenty of low traffic forums on this board and I think it honestly would be for the best if the Senate was one of them however traffic level does not a reason for removal make and unless and until the admins come down and tell me that the Senate has served its purpose I will not open or condone a vote for us to remove ourselves.
To be honest, I'd like to see SWvST, PSW, and PST locked and archived and all subsequent traffic routed to OSF, which would be re-named simply, "Science Fiction". The need for those original forums has long since passed.

See, it's not just the low level of traffic. If it was just that, I'd say keep on. In fact, before the HoC, that's exactly what I've said. The matter here is duplication of purpose. One forum does the job better than another. Why keep the forum that's not performing? If the need comes back, ever, it's the simplest thing in the world to unlock the forum and put it into active duty again. Nothing need be deleted, it would just be mothballed. Even the Senate usergroup could be altered to show the status of former Senators to show that they took part in this place.
This goes to my point above. There are marginal cases, and I think the Senate does (and can do) a FAR better job of dealing with those cases, remain something for which the Senate should be charged. I don't think it will happen often and I don't think it shoudl happen often but it is better to have a select body available than to attempt to create one out of whole cloth (or to activate then deactivate a group "as needed").
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