SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

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SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Nassau-Windsor on Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:47 am

An Act to give provisions for notifications with regards to elections.

WHEREAS there are, under the Constitution or under another Act of Parliament, to be held elections in Our Region, from time to time;

WHEREAS there are already regulated a great deal of subjects with regards to the aforementioned elections;

WHEREAS it appears to be necessary, to regulate provisions for notifications with regards to the aforementioned elections;

BE IT ENACTED by Us, by and with the consent and advice of Parliament, and the authority of the same, as follows:-


Chapter I: General provisions
Article 1
As soon as the Founder has notified the region of an upcoming election, thereby stating for how long Members can request to be put on the ballot, Members are free to make such a request by notification.

Article 2
Under a ‘notification’ as stated by Article 1 of this Act, shall be understand a telegram on NationStates or a private message on Our Forum.

Article 3
As soon as the Founder has received and read the notification of such a request, he shall decide whether or not the Member shall be put on the ballot. The only reason to refuse a Member to be put on the ballot paper, is if a Court has restricted the Member’s right of passive electorship in such a way, that it makes him unable to be put on the ballot for that time.

Article 4
The Founder, after he has made a decision as outlined in Article 3 of this Act, shall notify the Member immediately. The Founder shall do so through the same means as he has received the request. The notification of the Founder shall include:
a confirmation that his request to be put on the ballot has been received;
whether or not he will be put on the ballot;
if he will be put on the ballot, for which election he will be put;
if he will not be put on the ballot, through which means he is unable to be put.

Article 5
Immediately after the Founder sent his notification, as described by Article 4 of this Act, he shall put the Member upon the respective ballot in his dispatch “On elections and appointment”.

Article 6
If a Member, being put onto a ballot paper, at any time before the election starts, wishes to be removed from that ballot, he shall give a notification to the Founder, through means of a telegram on NationStates or a private message on Our Forum.

Article 7
The Founder shall immediately give confirmation of a request as described by Article 6 of this Act. The confirmation shall be send in the way similarly to which the request has been received.

Article 8
Immediately after the Founder has send his confirmation notice as described by Article 7, he shall strike, but not remove, the Member from that ballot.

Article 9
A Member can only make one request to be put on one and the same ballot again, after he has been removed from that ballot in the way outlined by Article 8 of this Act, unless special reasons, outlined in another request, are provided to the Founder.

Chapter II: Special provisions for parties or groups
Article 10
If at any moment an election allows a group or a party, that is to say two or more members joined together in one body, to be put on a ballot paper, only one member of that group needs to apply in the name of the group.

Article 11
The request that needs to be send to the Founder must then contain a list of the group's members, in descending order of precedence. The formation of that list is an internal matter for the group and may not be questioned by the Founder. The member of a group that sent the request for the group can request to update the order of precedence of that party. Such requests can include: a) members being placed at an other rank of precedence; b) a new member being added; and c) a member being removed. Such updates can only be requested three times per group per election.

Article 12
If at any time a member wishes to be removed from a group, he shall contact the Founder, who will immediately give confirmation of that request, and will then remove, not just strike, his name on that list. The member may then request to be put on the ballot paper as either an individual or a member of another group at least once.

Article 13
It is illegal for a member of the region to put upon any list of his group, any other member of the region that did not give approval prior, and verbally made his objection known, to that placing. Such cases may be heard by the regional court, yet shall not influence the actions of the Founder with regards to this Act of Parliament. The aforementioned illegal action shall be styled "ballot paper fraud". The crime described in this article shall be classified as a felony. If convicted, the regional court shall order that the member shall be deemed unable to be put on other ballots, the number and positions therefore having outlined.

Article 14
A member of the region may not be put onto a ballot paper more than one time, either as member of a group or as an individual. If such cases appear, the request received the latest shall be taken into consideration.

Chapter III: Special provisions for an election of a Prime Minister
Article 15
With regards to an election for the office of Prime Minister of the Region, a Member is also deemed unable to be put on the ballot if he is, at the moment of request, not a Member-State of the World Assembly.

Article 16
With regards to an election for the office of Prime Minister of the Region, the Founder will see if the Members on the ballot are being Member-States of the World Assembly at the immediate moment before he starts the election. If such a Member is not a Member-State, he shall not be able to run, and a notification of such a removal from the ballot paper shall be made, by telegram on NationStates to the specific Member and on the Regional Forum in the proper place.

Chapter IV: Final provisions
Article 17
Further provisions relating to the ballot papers may be issued by the Founder. Such provisions may not declare certain members unable to exercise any or more of their rights with regards to the ballot [papers], and must only contain procedural provisions. Such provisions must be announced on the Regional Message Board, or on the Forum in the Office of the Founder. Provisions shall not take effect until fourteen days after their proper notifications to the Region.

Article 18
This Act shall take immediate effect from the moment it has been signed into Law by the President.

Article 19
This Act shall continue to have effect during interregnums of any position or office in the Regional governance.

Article 20
This Act may be cited as “Electoral Notifications Act 2017”.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017
The Hon. Nassau-Windsor MP LSM
The Hon. Thomolia MP
The Hon. Abdoa MP GSM LSM
The Rt. Hon. Libertarian Democracy MP LSM


Last edited by Nassau-Windsor on Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:56 pm; edited 8 times in total (Reason for editing : Co-sponsor added.)

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Abdoa on Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:48 pm

Great bill! I however would like to request that "appeareth" seems a bit too far-fetched for a modern institution (well, I guess we're sort of modern). I request that it be changed to the current and more intelligible form "appears".

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Nassau-Windsor on Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:02 pm

Abdoa wrote:Great bill! I however would like to request that "appeareth" seems a bit too far-fetched for a modern institution (well, I guess we're sort of modern). I request that it be changed to the current and more intelligible form "appears".

I am most grateful for the request by my Honourable friend, consequently, I updated the Bill in such a way. I also updated the Bill by adding a new Chapter, the current Chapter II, which deals with specific provisions for ballot papers that also allow groups to be put. (I just realised I copy-pasted a version that was not the latest, and thus excluded that Chapter.)

May I take it from my Honourable friend that he supports the Bill?

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Libertarian Democracy on Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:36 pm

I respect the intentions and means of this proposal, however there are a few flaws that I believe should be addressed.

First, Chapter II, Article 13 might needs be amended to comply with the pending SO#2017-14 ("On Judicial Rights and Procedures"), Article V, Section A, Clause 3, Subclause B: "All future Acts of Parliament shall be required to specify the classification of Criminal Offenses."

Although SO#2017-14 has not yet achieved assent from President LROF, he could sign it while this Act is in debate, so it might be wise to "plan ahead".  Of course, the Honourable author could leave the section thereof as is and allow the Ministry of Jurisprudence to make the final decision, assuming the President does not veto.

Also, I think Chapter IV, Article 17 should be amended to establish both a timeframe for when the Founder can institute new procedural rules (ie no later than 14 days before an election), and also should require public notification via the RMB or the Union Forums.

EDIT: President LROF has signed SO#2017-14


Last edited by Libertarian Democracy on Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:59 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Abdoa on Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:00 am

Nassau-Windsor wrote:
Abdoa wrote:Great bill! I however would like to request that "appeareth" seems a bit too far-fetched for a modern institution (well, I guess we're sort of modern). I request that it be changed to the current and more intelligible form "appears".

I am most grateful for the request by my Honourable friend, consequently, I updated the Bill in such a way. I also updated the Bill by adding a new Chapter, the current Chapter II, which deals with specific provisions for ballot papers that also allow groups to be put. (I just realised I copy-pasted a version that was not the latest, and thus excluded that Chapter.)

May I take it from my Honourable friend that he supports the Bill?

I most definitely support the bill, however I would like to hear you and LibDem talk his suggestions through before I actually co-sponsor the bill, so that we don't have to make amendments in the Debate Chamber if you do decide to change the bill.

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Sepharich on Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:58 am

I agree with Abdoa, I would like to here you debate a little more before promising anything.
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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Nassau-Windsor on Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:41 am

I am most grateful for the proposals of my Honourable friend [Libertarian Democracy]. I have implemented his proposals immediately after notification of them!

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Libertarian Democracy on Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:59 pm

I thank the Rt. Hon. Nassau for hearing my suggestions, however I must point out that the first one was incorrectly implemented. While naming the crime is a good idea, it isn't part of the Classification Requirement. The Classification Requirement means that you must decide whether it is a Misdemeanor, Felony, or a High Crime. You may specify punishments for the crimes, but it must fall within the acceptable ranges for the classification:

Misdemeanor: May be punished with anything up to a two-week ban, and may be coupled with lower punishments.
Felony: A minimum ban of 14 days and up to permanent, and temporary ineligibility, and may be coupled with lower punishments
High Crime: A minimum ban of 1 year and up to permanent, and a permanent ineligibility, and may be coupled with lower punishments

If you do not specify a punishment, however, it will be up to the tribunals (parliament) to decide on a case-by-case basis, but it would be within the range of the classification that you are required to specify.

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Nassau-Windsor on Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:51 am

I have updated Article 13 to the proposals made by my Honourable Friend [Libertarian Democracy].

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Libertarian Democracy on Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:35 pm

I cannot support the High Crime designation for the second offense. High Crimes are defined by the Judicial Act to be "the most severe type of Criminal Offense one can commit in the Union". The only other crimes classified as High Crimes are Treason and Sedition. This crime should be a misdemeanor unless malice can be proved, in which case it should be classified as a ban. It would be a shame for someone to get a two-week ban for erroneously listing someone on the ballot.

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Nassau-Windsor on Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:34 pm

Libertarian Democracy wrote:I cannot support the High Crime designation for the second offense.  High Crimes are defined by the Judicial Act to be "the most severe type of Criminal Offense one can commit in the Union".  The only other crimes classified as High Crimes are Treason and Sedition.  This crime should be a misdemeanor unless malice can be proved, in which case it should be classified as a ban.  It would be a shame for someone to get a two-week ban for erroneously listing someone on the ballot.

I agree with my Honourable friend that it would be a shame for us to punish a Member of Our Region with a two-week ban due to a misunderstanding. However, I would outline the context in which I believe the crime should still be classified as a high crime.

First of all, I wish to remind my Honourable friend that the punishment given in the Act is a maximum punishment. The Court reviewing the case may in any circumstance give another punishment that is not as harsh as the maximum should the situation have circumstances that would seem to make it logic for the Court to do so.

Secondly, the crime is only classified as a high crime if the Member has already been convicted for that crime earlier. This is also to ensure that no punishment would seem to be too harsh at first offence.

Thirdly, the crime that has to be committed before such a punishment can be awarded, is a very serious one. Forwarding a Member's name for a ballot falsely is a serious offence in my view. It could -if done on purpose- strive to undermine the democratic way of governance known in Our Region. For that fundamental reason, it is my opinion that there are circumstances of which one could think in which it would require a severe sentence. Again, the Court may determine the actual sentence, as long as that is not higher than the maximum punishment set out by this Act of Parliament (once passed).

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Libertarian Democracy on Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:24 am

I would argue that Electoral Fraud itself would not be a high crime. Is fraud really as severe as High Treason? Also, this seems like most offenses would be simply a mistake by the offender, not a premeditated attack on our democracy.

Take this as example: I, as the leader of my party, list all the incumbent members of my party on my ballot list after telegramming them "does anyone object?" and receiving no objections. Then one of the members posts on the RMB that they actually didn't want to be on the ballot. All of the sudden I am banned for at least two weeks and I can't vote or run for office for six months. Then suppose next year there's a similar misunderstanding. All of the sudden I am banned for at least a year and I can never vote or run for office.

Now, I pose the question again, does the punishment fit the crime?

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Aralunya on Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:58 am

I agree with my Honourable friend, Libertarian Democracy. While I too view electoral fraud as a potential way to undermine the democratic process in our Region, the potential for accidentally violating the Act is also very high. I believe if we keep the High Crime designation, then a clause needs to be inserted to say the crime was performed with intent, not ignorance. Moreover, anyone accused should be able to provide proof of correspondence with the members of hi/her party in order to uphold their narrative in the scenario that they are charged under the Act.

I would like to offer an amendment to the Sponsor.

Amend Chapter II, Article 13 to read:
"It is illegal for a member of the region to put upon any list of his group, any other member of the region that did not give approval prior, and verbally made his/her objection known, to that placing. Such cases may be heard by the regional court, yet shall not influence the actions of the Founder with regards to this Act of Parliament. The aforementioned illegal action shall be styled "ballot paper fraud". The crime described in this article shall be classified as a felony, unless the member of our region has already been convicted for such a crime, in which case the crime shall be classified a high crime. If convicted, the regional court shall order that the member shall be deemed unable to be put on other ballots, the number and positions therefore having outlined."
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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Nassau-Windsor on Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:29 am

First of all, I would thank the support in writing this important Bill which I have received from my [Right] Honourable friends!

With regards to my Right Honourable friend Libertarian Democracy, I will say that I waited for other Members of Parliament to respond, however, as they did not do so, I will happily accept his proposal to change the crime from a high crime to that of a felony.

With regards to my Honourable friend Aralunya, I will say that I agree with him on the subject forwarded. Consequently, I will happily adjust my Bill according to his proposed changes.

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Thomolia on Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:39 pm

Thomolia wishes to co-sponsor this bill

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Libertarian Democracy on Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:18 am

OOC: Due to my absence, I cannot tell if the proposal was indeed updated. I do request that the Rt. Hon. author of the proposal confirm that the bill was updated as per his latest post in this thread.

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Nassau-Windsor on Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:19 am

I can confirm to my Right Honourable friend [Libertarian Democracy] that I updated the Bill.

I can also add to this that I added my Honourable friend [Thomolia] as co-sponsor of the Bill.

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Abdoa on Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:27 pm

As we seem to have reached an agreement, I also would like to co-sponsor the bill. Thank you Nassau!

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Libertarian Democracy on Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:20 pm

One final, final thing before I co-sponsor. Please do specify the prescribed ban for the new crime. I do remind the Rt. Hon. author of the proposal that for a felony, the minimum ban is 15 days and the maximum being permanent. It is my opinion that a 30-day ban makes sense for this crime for the first offense, and 90 days for all subsequent offenses.

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Nassau-Windsor on Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:27 am

Libertarian Democracy wrote:One final, final thing before I co-sponsor.  Please do specify the prescribed ban for the new crime.  I do remind the Rt. Hon. author of the proposal that for a felony, the minimum ban is 15 days and the maximum being permanent.  It is my opinion that a 30-day ban makes sense for this crime for the first offense, and 90 days for all subsequent offenses.

I understand that my Right Honourable friend wishes for me to include such provisions in the Bill, however, I think it is not necessary. The boundaries for a felony are already established. And with regards to this specific felony, I think it should be for the Court reviewing the case to determine what the exact punishment should be, as the Court can take into account each and every details for that specific case. I think it is not for Parliament - as a legislative organ rather than a judicial one - to prescribe exact punishments; I prefer to keep the punishments a bit vague because specific details may matter a lot for how a Court's opinion on the punishment will be formed.

For that reason, I will not put the provision in. If my Right Honourable friend wishes to have it stated in the Bill nonetheless, I invite him to write an Amendment in the Debate Hall.

Furthermore, I beg to move that the Speaker sends this Bill to the Debate Hall of Parliament.

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Libertarian Democracy on Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:27 pm

I understand my Rt. Hon. friend's opinion, and I must concur. I do hereby co-sponsor the proposal, and I also call upon the Speaker to move this proposal to the debate hall.

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Abdoa on Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:02 pm

It's not first in line though. The order of debate following the Procedure Orders is:

SO 2017-15 Especial Privileges Act (debate held over from previous parliament)
SO 2017-09 Amendments to SO 2017-03 Parliamentary Procedure Act (proposed in previous parliament, has to be debated before other business)
SO 2017-18 Approval of Parliamentary Committees for the 9th Parliament (co-sponsored March 19)
SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act (co-sponsored March 27)
SO 2017-19 General Debate Act (co-sponsored March 27)

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Nassau-Windsor on Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:59 pm

Abdoa wrote:It's not first in line though. The order of debate following the Procedure Orders is:

SO 2017-15 Especial Privileges Act (debate held over from previous parliament)
SO 2017-09 Amendments to SO 2017-03 Parliamentary Procedure Act (proposed in previous parliament, has to be debated before other business)
SO 2017-18 Approval of Parliamentary Committees for the 9th Parliament (co-sponsored March 19)
SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act (co-sponsored March 27)
SO 2017-19 General Debate Act (co-sponsored March 27)

I thank my Honourable friend for the point he makes. Though I had no intention of making it look like my Bills (this one as well as the General Debate Bill) would take any precedence over any other such Bills; I merely wished to point out to the Speaker that I begged these Bills to be forwarded once they were up for such forward. Wink

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Re: SO 2017-17 Electoral Notifications Act

Post by Abdoa on Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:01 pm

No no, I was not trying to imply that you were implying etc... I was trying to make the point that we're really behind... Smile

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