SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

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SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Thomolia on Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:59 am

Acknowledging that Our honourable Union is based on democracy, and that it is our aim to make every member involved in the building of a better political system;

Aiming to make all members more aware and responsible for participating in the legislative process by increasing the presence of direct democracy in our system;

We hereby propose that every Act of Parliament be put to a referendum on the region's page on NationStates, the outcome of which can approve the text or send it back to Parliament for another reading. Parliament will be obliged to amend the text, vote on it a second time, and finally submit it to a second referendum. If no majority is reached, then the proposal shall be automatically erased. If the outcome of the referendum is successful for the proposal, the Act will be send to the President for final approval.

Original text:
Acknowledged that our honorable Union is based on democracy and that is our aim to make everyour member involved in the building of a better political sistemy,
I hereby propose to submit every law proposal that  the Parliament has just passed to a referendum, which will be put on the Community Page on National States, which can approve the text or otherwise send it back a second time to the Parliament. The Parliament will be obliged to amend the text, vote it a second time, and finally submit it to a second referendum. If the majority of the votes isn't reached even on this occasion, then the proposal is automatically erased. If the referendum is successful, then the act will be sent to the President for the last and final approval. The aim is to make every member more aware and responsible of the legislative process, by increasing the presence of direct democracy in our sistem.
Thomolia, Senator

Modedit: Created new version of the text, in order to update grammar and spelling; spoiled original. [Nassau-Windsor]

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Nassau-Windsor on Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:42 pm

I hope you do not mind that I updated your earlier version, but this is easier to read and I think the main provisions remain the same. If you have a problem feel free to contact me and I will change it accordingly. Wink

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Thomolia on Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:06 pm

Oh Nassau-Windsor, you've been so kind to do this correction to make the proposal clearer. Thank you very much. The contents are still the same but much more comprehensible, now.

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Libertarian Democracy on Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:21 pm

I stand against this proposal. The Constitution was clear in its intention to have Parliament as the sole legislative body.

We did pass SO#2015-1 ("Referendum Bill") which allows for "the bills which affect [the citizens] most strongly". But that bill did not call for automatic referenda for every bill.

In addition, this proposal may not even be legal. The Constitution, Article II, Section C: "Parliament has the authority to draft, vote on, and pass laws that will affect the Region as a whole." It seems very clear to me that any bill that strips Parliament of the authority to pass laws is illegal.

We are the Parliamentary Union. Not the Athenian Union.

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Thomolia on Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:39 pm

Is it possible that you can't see that if we don't involve Our members to the political debate and decisions, by inviting them to cast their votes on the issue we discuss in Parliament about, Our glorious Union is bound to a political aridity. And if we don't notice it in time, it might be too late to try to fix this situation.

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Libertarian Democracy on Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:05 pm

It is my opinion that the Rt. Hon. PM Abdoa has set the precedent already for citizen involvement in lawmaking through the several committees. I would, however, like to see their system standardized with a larger number of regular citizens seated as our population increases.

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Thomolia on Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:22 pm

Don't you see that we've lost about the 25% of our members in the first weeks of 2017?! Can't you understand that States leave the Union because we aren't able to make them feel involved in the political life? We can't let the Union become a smaller and smaller region just because we are afraid the Parliament might lose importance, which, however, isn't going to happen, if my proposal will be accepted. I would like just to see the non-elected members of the Union active in the legislative process. The Parliament won't get any liabilities.

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Nassau-Windsor on Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:38 pm

Libertarian Democracy wrote:I stand against this proposal.  The Constitution was clear in its intention to have Parliament as the sole legislative body.

We did pass SO#2015-1 ("Referendum Bill") which allows for "the bills which affect [the citizens] most strongly".  But that bill did not call for automatic referenda for every bill.

In addition, this proposal may not even be legal.  The Constitution, Article II, Section C: "Parliament has the authority to draft, vote on, and pass laws that will affect the Region as a whole."  It seems very clear to me that any bill that strips Parliament of the authority to pass laws is illegal.

We are the Parliamentary Union.  Not the Athenian Union.

My Honourable friend is of course right when he says that Parliament has the authority to pass laws, however, does he also agree with me that Parliament, as the supreme legislature is sovereign and it can therefore choose to decrease its powers? Please do not get me wrong on this, I am not in favour of the Bill we are currently debating, simply because it would take too much time to organise referenda for each decision to be taken.

Yet this is an important point. My Honourable friend says that this proposal could possibly be illegal, however when Parliament is sovereign, no Bill that it passes into an Act of Parliament can be illegal automatically.

If my Honourable friend would allow me, I will present him with an example that he should be familiar with: the President's assent. Parliament, being sovereign, limited itself to pass laws as the President must give his assent to any passed Bill before it becomes law; therefore, Parliament gave up a part of its powers, and it can always get it back with a new Act. Therefore, does my Honourable friend agree with me that the proposal of the Honourable gentleman (Thomolia) is a similar restriction on the powers of Parliament as I mentioned in my example?

[Oh dear, I am writing more and more like a proper politician... Very Happy ]

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Libertarian Democracy on Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:00 pm

Nassau-Windsor wrote:
Libertarian Democracy wrote:I stand against this proposal.  The Constitution was clear in its intention to have Parliament as the sole legislative body.

We did pass SO#2015-1 ("Referendum Bill") which allows for "the bills which affect [the citizens] most strongly".  But that bill did not call for automatic referenda for every bill.

In addition, this proposal may not even be legal.  The Constitution, Article II, Section C: "Parliament has the authority to draft, vote on, and pass laws that will affect the Region as a whole."  It seems very clear to me that any bill that strips Parliament of the authority to pass laws is illegal.

We are the Parliamentary Union.  Not the Athenian Union.

My Honourable friend is of course right when he says that Parliament has the authority to pass laws, however, does he also agree with me that Parliament, as the supreme legislature is sovereign and it can therefore choose to decrease its powers? Please do not get me wrong on this, I am not in favour of the Bill we are currently debating, simply because it would take too much time to organise referenda for each decision to be taken.

Yet this is an important point. My Honourable friend says that this proposal could possibly be illegal, however when Parliament is sovereign, no Bill that it passes into an Act of Parliament can be illegal automatically.

If my Honourable friend would allow me, I will present him with an example that he should be familiar with: the President's assent. Parliament, being sovereign, limited itself to pass laws as the President must give his assent to any passed Bill before it becomes law; therefore, Parliament gave up a part of its powers, and it can always get it back with a new Act. Therefore, does my Honourable friend agree with me that the proposal of the Honourable gentleman (Thomolia) is a similar restriction on the powers of Parliament as I mentioned in my example?

[Oh dear, I am writing more and more like a proper politician... Very Happy ]

It would appear as if the Honourable Senator from Nassau-Windsor is mistaken. The Parliament did not give up any rights when it comes to Assent. SO#2016-3 ("Parliamentary Procedure Orders"), Article II, Section K* clearly states that a bill becomes law before the President chooses to sign or veto it.

Parliament of course could devolve its powers by its own choice, but it would have to be a Constitutional Amendment. A bill will not suffice to satisfy legal requirements set forth by this Legislature and the Constitution.

* Text: "If a majority or more of all the senators vote in favor of the bill, it becomes an Act of Parliament, and is sent to the President to be signed or vetoed."
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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Nassau-Windsor on Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:18 pm

Libertarian Democracy wrote:It would appear as if the Honourable Senator from Nassau-Windsor is mistaken.  The Parliament did not give up any rights when it comes to Assent.  SO#2016-3 ("Parliamentary Procedure Orders"), Article II, Section K* clearly states that a bill becomes law before the President chooses to sign or veto it.

Parliament of course could devolve its powers by its own choice, but it would have to be a Constitutional Amendment.  A bill will not suffice to satisfy legal requirements set forth by this Legislature and the Constitution.

* Text: "If a majority or more of all the senators vote in favor of the bill, it becomes an Act of Parliament, and is sent to the President to be signed or vetoed."

To a degree that is true, however, what would an Act of Parliament, lawfully passed, become when the President vetoes it? Surely, it would not become Statutory Law, as the Act has no effect. It is therefore that Parliament did indeed limit itself in its legislative powers. And this is essential, as it is the practical outcome of the Constitution rather than the formal way in which things ought to happen.

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Abdoa on Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:22 pm

This has become a very technical discussion, but I would venture to say that the President's assent is required for the Act to take effect by the Constitution. The Parliament had nothing to do with limiting its powers in that case: the Constitution was not voted on by the Parliament.

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Libertarian Democracy on Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:28 am

Nassau-Windsor wrote:
Libertarian Democracy wrote:It would appear as if the Honourable Senator from Nassau-Windsor is mistaken.  The Parliament did not give up any rights when it comes to Assent.  SO#2016-3 ("Parliamentary Procedure Orders"), Article II, Section K* clearly states that a bill becomes law before the President chooses to sign or veto it.

Parliament of course could devolve its powers by its own choice, but it would have to be a Constitutional Amendment.  A bill will not suffice to satisfy legal requirements set forth by this Legislature and the Constitution.

* Text: "If a majority or more of all the senators vote in favor of the bill, it becomes an Act of Parliament, and is sent to the President to be signed or vetoed."

To a degree that is true, however, what would an Act of Parliament, lawfully passed, become when the President vetoes it? Surely, it would not become Statutory Law, as the Act has no effect. It is therefore that Parliament did indeed limit itself in its legislative powers. And this is essential, as it is the practical outcome of the Constitution rather than the formal way in which things ought to happen.

No law defines the current precedent, however. The way the Constitution is written, as soon as a bill passes it becomes law, and the President or any future President can nullify it. The way SO#2016-3 is written, the President gets one chance, without expiration, to make a decision. However, the acceptance by the public of a law whether before or after assent is not specified by the Constitution or the Law.

Also, @Abdoa, can you cite specific clauses in the Constitution to meet your argument? The Constitution does not specify that the President can sign a bill. It merely gives the President the option of vetoing it (Article III, Section C, Subsection 3)
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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Abdoa on Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:32 am

Sorry that's basically what I meant: the President can veto bills. This is precedent for a constraint on Parliament's power to pass laws, but one that Parliament did not vote for.

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Islamic State Of Malaya on Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:33 pm

I would support this act

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Thomolia on Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:46 pm

Bill moved to the Debate Hall

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Libertarian Democracy on Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:10 pm

Thomolia:
1) You don't move bills to the Debate Hall; Abdoa does, and it is proper for him to announce it. Please refer to SO#2016-3 ("Parliamentary Procedure Orders").
2) This bill has not been co-sponsored by two Senators, so it would not move on to the Debate Hall anyway.

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Thomolia on Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:29 pm

Oh yes, by me and Malaya dear Libertarian Democracy. The support needed is by two people just like for Malaya's bill. So shut up, please.

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Libertarian Democracy on Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:31 pm

Thomolia wrote:Oh yes, by me and Malaya dear Libertarian Democracy. The support needed is by two people just like for Malaya's bill. So shut up, please.
Thomolia, this is an outrageous indignity and egregious violation of Parliamentary procedure and etiquette. All nine Senators could support your bill, but it will not pass to the Debate Hall until you obtain the Endorsement/Co-Sponsorship of another Senator. Please review the procedures and apologize for your disrespectful comment.
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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Abdoa on Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:42 am

Please, Senators, calm down. I must refer Thomolia to Article II Section I of the Constitution: "Parliament may only debate on one bill at a time."

We are currently debating SO 2017-8, which was co-sponsored before this bill, until Thursday.

Also, though Libertarian Democracy makes a valid point about the distinction between "support" and "endorsement/co-sponsorship", in this case, I had indeed understood the affirmation of support by Malaya of this bill as an intent of co-sponsorship. However, to clarify the record, I would ask that, if Malaya does indeed wish to co-sponsor this bill, they do so using more precise language.

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Abdoa on Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:09 am

ISOM has TGd me that they co-sponsor the bill. Therefore, the bill is placed in waiting line to be debated.

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Re: SO 2017-7 Direct Democracy Act

Post by Abdoa on Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:39 am

The bill has passed to the debate hall.

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