Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

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michelmanen
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Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

Post by michelmanen »

I would like to bring to everyone's attention that there are only about 24 hours left for those who wish to be appointed as Facilitator of this APCC RE: RA Size to do so.
This is a very important commission, whose mandate goes to the core of what a Democratic CDS is all about. Its advisory role notwithstanding, it represents a crucial opportunity for citizens to voice their opinions in an open and clear manner, outside any political constraints. The Facilitator will play a critical role in defining the terms of reference of this Commission, selecting the Commission members, organising and conducting hearings, and drafting recommendations - including, possibly (but not necessarily) legislation.

I encourage anyone truly interested by this issue to consider submitting their name as Facilitator for this APCC, either here or via note-card, directly to the Chancellor, by the end of tomorrow (SLT), September 6. Thank you.
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Re: Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

Post by michelmanen »

I am pleased to report that that Molly and Nolligan have agreed to join me as Facilitators on the RA Size APCC.

The popular discussion and consultation process will take place over a period of six weeks, between Friday, October 3, and Friday, November 14, 2014. Citizens will be able to cast their votes on whether they wish a return to the original provisions of the Constitution, allowing for an RA proportional to the size of its population, or prefer to keep an RA composed of five members, between Friday, October 31, and Friday, November 14, 2014. The results of the consultation will be made public on Saturday, November 15, at noon.

During the course of these popular consultations, we are planning to benefit from the insight of a number of veteran CDS citizen regarding the original constitutional arrangements of the CDS regarding RA size, and their evolution since. We hope to be able to bring in a number of other experts to address this critical issue for our system of governance.

We hope that such contributions will inform and stimulate the discussions that will take place, so that the final vote will be the result of the widest and most inclusive deliberative exercise in citizen will-formation in the history of CDS. We realise that attaining this objective represents a significant challenge, and we shall do out best to meet it.

More details and information will be posted on the APCC's thread in the forums' NGO and Commissions section, once set up by the forum moderators.

If you have any questions regarding this APCC or wish to contribute in any way, please contact me via IM or note-card in world or at michel.manen @gmail.com for a quick reply.
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Re: Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

Post by Patroklus Murakami »

I received the following notecard from Michel today:
Dear fellow CDS Citizen,

Did you know that when the elections for the 22nd RA will be held, this November, the CDS will most likely have 90 citizens? Under the provisions of our original Constitution, this means we would get ready to elect 9 representatives to our legislative assembly – one for each ten citizens.

But we won’t. A few years ago, the RA decided to change our Constitution and do away with an RA proportional to population size – in favor of an RA fixed forever at 5 members. It ratified this important constitutional change without any public consultation – without asking you whether you agreed or not.

The time has come to remedy this oversight. Whether you wish to retain the current 5-person RA or to return to the provision of the original Constitution, your voice deserves to be heard. Our Chancellor has therefore asked me to act as Facilitator of an Advisory Popular Consultation Commission (APCC) on the Size of the Representative Assembly. I will be joined in this task by Molly Medier and Nolligan Nino, who will assist me in organizing discussions and debates with all of you, CDS citizens, allowing us all to develop informed opinions on this critical matter for our community. These debates will take place during the six weeks comprised between October 3 and November 14, 2014.

During the last two weeks of this consultation period, from October 31 to November 14, each and every one of you will be asked to send me a notecard, containing your answer to the following question: ??"The original CDS Constitution stated that: ‘The number of representative seats in the RA is equal to the odd whole number nearest to 10% of the population, rounded down, with a minimum of five seats and a maximum of forty seats.’?Should this provision of the original CDS Constitution regarding RA size be restored? YES or NO”

You are encouraged to provide us with detailed reasons supporting your answer – but you do not have to do so. A YES or NO will be enough. The decision is entirely up to you. The results of this consultation will be formally announced on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at noon.

During the course of these popular consultations, we are planning to benefit from the insight of a number of veteran CDS citizen regarding the original constitutional arrangements of the CDS regarding RA size, and their evolution since. We hope to be able to bring in a number of other experts to address this critical issue for our system of governance.

We hope that such contributions will inform and stimulate the discussions that will take place, so that the final vote will be the result of the widest and most inclusive deliberative exercise in citizen will-formation in the history of CDS. We realise that attaining this objective represents a significant challenge, and we shall do out best to meet it.

But we can only do so with your help and active participation in these discussions and debates. Before casting a vote, you need to hear different views, opinions, and presentations that will enable you to reach an informed and balanced decision. The best way to do so is to participate in one or more of our in-world meetings, together with other citizens willing and able to participate at the same time as you.

In order to coordinate these meetings, we ask you to provide us with three 2-hour periods during any week when you would be able to attend one of the Commission’s in-world meetings (for example: Wednesdays between 8 pm and 10 pm slt, Saturdays between 10 am and noon slt, and Sundays between 4 pm and 6 pm slt). Once we receive your replies, we will organise the consultation sessions accordingly and let you know which ones best suit your schedule. Please drop me a notecard with this information regarding your availability as soon as possible, so we can proceed with organising these consultations without delay.

More details and information will be posted on the APCC's thread in the CDS Forums' NGO and Commissions section, once set up by the forum moderators. If you have any questions regarding this APCC or wish to contribute in any way, please contact me via IM or note-card in world or at michel.manen @gmail.com for a quick reply.

Thank you for taking the time to read this announcement, for your reply, and for your participation in this very important democratic process.

Kind regards,

Michel Manen
If this commission is to be taken seriously, a less biased and partisan presentation of the issues will be needed. The notecard sent out is far from neutral, and neither is the choice of question. Did Molly and Nolligan approve this message or does it just represent the opinion of one person?
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Re: Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

Post by Garnet Psaltery »

Those were my thoughts too, Pat, especially in view of the opening posting to this topic which included these words "This is a very important commission, whose mandate goes to the core of what a Democratic CDS is all about." It does seem that democracy these days is whatever the Chancellor and his circle decide upon. This is the very behaviour that circle are so fond of claiming certain other citizens display.
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Re: Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

Post by Cadence Theas »

I have to agree with Pat and Garnet about the overtly biased notecard that was sent.

One of the things that has characterized the commissions that the RA has formed this term is that there has been no leading statements, nor guidance towards certain conclusions. The RA commissions were simply given a task to look at, and were allowed to involve people as each commission saw fit, form their own agenda and arrive at their own independent conclusions. And there has been no interference nor influence in the processes of the commissions.

The description of the APCC, however, is so tilted towards a larger RA that it loses its validity as a neutral consultation mechanism and takes on more of the feel of a paid lobby.

It is also curious that the author of this text:
michelmanen wrote:The time has come to remedy this oversight. Whether you wish to retain the current 5-person RA or to return to the provision of the original Constitution, your voice deserves to be heard.
criticized me for characterizing NL 8-4 as a moment of RA madness.

I respectfully ask him why a RA decision about RA size is invalid or an oversight, but a RA decision about an unconsulted sim is valid and a shining example of democratic processes.
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Re: Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

Post by michelmanen »

Pat, thanks for your comments and for posting the note. I was going to do so as soon as a thread dedicated to this APCC was going to be made available.

As to the substance of your query - the facts are the facts:

1. The original constitution DID provide for a an RA size proportional to CDS' population;

2. This was changed without popular consultation;

3. This does represent an oversight;

4. The task of this Advisory Commission is to remedy it by asking citizens what their opinion is at the end of a deliberative process.

The question, set by the Chancellor, is quite clear and simple: Do you want to go back to the provision of the original Constitution or not? There is no bias there either.

Please note that the role of the facilitators is simply to organise the debates and gather the final information from citizens. We will not write a report or make any recommendations.

We will also arrange for different speakers to present the events surrounding the changes that have occurred and the reasons for it. If you are interested to make such a presentation, please let me know and I will be more than happy to arrange it. You will then have the opportunity to present the facts as you see them, and to answer the citizens' questions on this topic.

I hope we can do this in a constructive and positive manner. I do realise it is much easier to undermine the legitimacy of the process and the credibility of those organising this APCC than focusing on the substantive issues at hand - but this is not in the long-term interest of the CDS community and its citizens. I hope we can move away from such tactics and debate the issues and facts only - so that the final decision of each and every one of us is made after due hearing is given to all relevant arguments and issues.

Should you wish to volunteer to join this APCC as Facilitator to ensure that it will "be taken seriously", please let me know and I will be happy to defer to you and let you organise its meetings, discusions, debates, compile the results and present them at the end of the process.
Last edited by michelmanen on Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

Post by michelmanen »

Cadence,

Thanks for your input. Please note that at no point do I criticise the law or show any preference for either alternative.

I do state that the manner in which this important law was passed included an oversight: that of not having widely consulted the CDS citizens on such an important constitutional issue. The task of this Advisory Commission is indeed to remedy this oversight and to hold now the hearings which should have been held then. There is no bias here: it's purely a statement of fact. Nothing in the note, in what I have said on the forums, or in the question to be answered, shows any biais for or against either alternative.

In short: the law changing the RA size is not in dispute. The process by which it was done, however, was flawed. We want to fix this. If the citizens decide they do not wish to go pack to the provisions of the intial constitutions, all they have to do is say: NO. If they do, they can say: Yes. Nothing can be less biased or more fair than this entirely factual question - on which citizens will have the opportunity to vote after a deliberative process where any one with special knowledge wishing to make presentations is encouraged to do so, and where the facilitators will not publicly express any opinions, or write any reports, beyond simply compiling the citizens' answers and making the tally public at the end of the process.

The difference with the PDA is clear:

1. This is a critical constitutional question, where the RA changed its own composition without popular consultation. Any change to this law requires a super-majority.

2. The PDA was adopted in accordance with established rules; it did not make any constitutional changes. It stipulated a different process of enlargement, in addition to the one already in place, led not by the RA but by private citizens under the supervision of the Chancellor. A simple majority of the RA can at any time modify, change or repeal the PDA.

3. Again, it is the process in making the constitutional change in the size of the RA that included an oversight. There was no such oversight in the passing of the PDA.

4. As its name indicates, this is an Advisory Popular Consultation Commission: its results are not legally binding on the RA - although they may well have a strong persuasive effect - unlike the binding referendum held at the last election, where a substantial majority of citizens voted in favor of adding at least one new sim to the CDS estate during the current term - which would not have happened without Bromo's initiative of donating a sim as allowed by the PDA.

I hope I was able to answer your questions to your satisfaction.
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Re: Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

Post by michelmanen »

Garnet,

If you have specific query or question please let me know, and I will be more than happy to reply.
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Re: Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

Post by cleopatraxigalia »

Point of History:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... clnk&gl=us



April 28 2012

1. The RA voted to amend the Constitution to set the size of the Representative Assembly at five seats.

Patroklus Murakami: i move we amend the Constitution to set the size of the RA at five members
Shep Titian: I’ll second that .. and we have 4 members .. so we can pass this today
Rosie Gray: I second that motion
Shep Titian: well Beathan .. you’re opinion?
Shep Titian: Lol * your
Beathan Vale: I don’t like the frequency with with we amend the Constitution and I would rather have a larger RA or an RA that grows with the population. I think that we should either set the RA at 7 or 9, or set the base at 5 and the largest size at 41 and then just change the trigger population to require a more population growth for RA growth than we currently have in the Con.
Beathan Vale: However, we have 6 declared candidates, I think –
Beathan Vale: So — that is a concern
Shep Titian: No we have 4
Beathan Vale: OK — even worse
Patroklus Murakami: beathan, would you agree that 10% is too high a figure?
Beathan Vale: So — for now, and with the stipulation that I consider this a temporary fix — I am inclined tto support the rule
Beathan Vale: Pat — yes — I would say 5 + 5% or even 2% –
Shep Titian: Ok well I think we can vote on this now
Delia Lake: /raises her hand
Shep Titian: I vote aye
Shep Titian: Delia?
Delia Lake: if I might ask, and I”m not for or agains t this proposal, what is the purpose of trying to limit the number of RA?
Patroklus Murakami: when you are ready shep, would you like me to state the question clearly? i.e. state how the constitution will be amended?
Beathan Vale: For me — the purpose is to avoid electoral fatigue and to help insure we have contested elections — if the RA is so big that it takes all comers, we don’t have a democracy, but rely entirely on self-selection
Shep Titian: I see it as a case of the previous expectations being too high Delia
Rosie Gray: I agree with both of those statements
Shep Titian: Not 10% in RL are part of government
Beathan Vale: I for one would like to see whether people would support me in a contested election based on my platform — otherwise I have trouble assessing whether my platform is desirable or not
Shep Titian: o0k Pat if you would please
Patroklus Murakami: okay
Patroklus Murakami: i move we amend article 1 section 2 of the constitution so that instead of “The number of representative seats in the RA is equal to the odd whole number nearest to 10% of the population, rounded down, with a minimum of five seats and a maximum of forty seats.” it reads “The number of representative seats in the RA is equal to five”
Shep Titian: Hmmm one point .. why leave the word equal in there?
Trebor Warcliffe: /raises hand
Rosie Gray: clarity I would think
Shep Titian: Trebor
Patroklus Murakami: history :) it retains some of the language of the original drafting
Trebor Warcliffe: Are we going to limit it to 5 no matter how large the population grows? I like Beathans idea of lowering the amount after 5. Maybe 1 seat per an additional 25 citizens
Trebor Warcliffe: Thats basically 4%
Trebor Warcliffe: Done
Patroklus Murakami: yes trebor, that’s my proposal
Shep Titian: I think we need to grow first .. then address it
Beathan Vale: Trebor, I agree, but the RA can always reassess this each term
Shep Titian: Okay .. now a vote :)
Trebor Warcliffe: Better to address it now so it doesnt become an issue in the future
Patroklus Murakami: i vote aye
Trebor Warcliffe: And I dont see that wording in Pat’s proposal
Shep Titian: No Trebor that just confuses things
Rosie Gray: I vote Aye
Shep Titian: I vote aye
Beathan Vale: Trebor, based on our past, I think this will always be an issue in the future — the proposal would set the RA to 5, no more, no less, regardless of population
Beathan Vale: Reluctantly and noting that future RAs can, should, and doubtless will revisit this issue when circumstances change, I vote aye
Rosie Gray: ?
Trebor Warcliffe: I agree it could be brought back up for debate as the population grows. Seems like some laws change on a term by term basis anyhow.
Shep Titian: Thank you .. 4 out of four ayes .. Anna shouild have 7 day .. but the motion is carried
Shep Titian: well done Pat :)
Patroklus Murakami: yay!
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Re: Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

Post by michelmanen »

Thank you for posting this, Cleo. This makes for a fascinating and instructive reading that goes to the heart of this APCC - both in terms of substance, and in terms of procedure.
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Re: Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

Post by cleopatraxigalia »

Another point of history... from the financials of that same term.. Pat LRA, shep rosie anna and beathan in RA...


At the time the constitution was changed and the RA size was made equal to FIVE. We had about 58 citizens. Today we have about 92.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3914&p=20153&hilit= ... 012#p20153

April 2012 Financial Statement
For the month of April the amount of tier collected was L$ 217,118 or US$ 871.96. This was an almost L$
42,000 decrease from our previous lowest tier revenue of February. Land Sales Revenue was L$ 15,266
or US$ 61.31. Total Other Revenue for the month of April was L$200 or US$0.80. The Total Revenue for
the CDS for the month of April was L$ 232,584 or US$ 934.07.

Linden Land Tier Expense stayed the same at L$ 267,675 or US$ 1,075.00. Our Currency Conversion
Charges was L$ 9,796 or US$ 39.34. We had no Events Expenses for the month of April.
Our Professional Fees for the month of March were the normal stipends of L$ 2,500 or US$10.04. Our
Web Hosting Expense remained constant at L$ 2,820 or US$ 11.33. Our Advertising/Marketing Expense
and our Miscellaneous Expense were a combined total of L$ 424 or US$ 1.71. So the Total Expenses for
the CDS for the month of April was L$ 283,215 or US$ 1,137.41. The difference between Total Revenue
and Total Expense is a loss of L$ 50,631 or US$ 203.34.
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Re: Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

Post by michelmanen »

I am pleased to announce that citizens have already begun to reply with their respective availability dates and times. At the same time, I can confirm that our first presenter will be Gwyneth, who has graciously agreed to give a presentation on the original intent of the CDS Founding Parents regarding the proportional size of the RA, and provide us with her unique perspective on the workings of this system. I will confirm this first meeting's date and time once the details will be finalised, by hopefully early next week.
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Re: Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

Post by Rosie Gray »

Patroklus Murakami wrote:Did Molly and Nolligan approve this message or does it just represent the opinion of one person?
I think this is a valid question and would like to know the answer.
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Re: Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

Post by michelmanen »

Rosie,

Thank you for your question. It is quite gratifying to see that the same three public officials who two years ago so enthusiastically voted in favor of changing the composition of the RA from proportional representation to a fixed number of 5, without engaging in any public consultations whatsoever, are now the three individuals most concerned with the fairness, impartiality, and good management of this Advisory Commission. I cannot help but think that, had they shown the same due diligence then regarding the responsibilities they had been entrusted with by the citizens of CDS as their elected representatives, as they now rightly require of the members of this Commission, this APCC would have been entirely unnecessary.

I note that this unfortunate oversight in no way deterred their on-going dedication to the CDS: one of them continues to occupy the same position on the RA as two years ago; another is a former Chancellor who ran for re-election and was defeated in a close call by the current incumbent, who called this advisory commission into existence; whilst the third, a former LRA herself, was designated by the current LRA as the Chair of the Conflict of Interests Commission in what the LRA herself admitted was an “excess of enthusiasm”, in violation of the RA’s own instructions for that commission’s Chair to be selected by the commission’s members themselves after consideration of a number of candidates, and then only confirmed by the RA, in order to avoid any actual and perceived conflict of interests on the part of its members.

I mention this only in order to highlight the fact that the three individuals who show such sustained and welcome interest in the workings of this Advisory Commission are not citizens who rarely if ever get involved in the governance process of the CDS, but seasoned elected and appointed officials who could easily find the simple answer to their own questions by consulting the Terms of Reference of this APCC, as published by the Chancellor here on August 31
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=5441:

“1. An Advisory Popular Consultation Commission (APCC) is hereby appointed.

2. The mandate of the APCC is to organize open and inclusive citizen consultations within the CDS regarding the appropriate size of the RA, and hold an advisory vote designed to clarify the free and democratic will of all CDS citizens on this fundamental issue.

3. Discussions on this topic will be held at times and places to be announced by the APCC Facilitator, to be appointed by the Chancellor from a list of volunteers, on September 7, 2014;

4. The discussions outlined above will take place over a period of one month, from September 15 to October 14, 2014;

5. A direct formal expression of opinion, to be expressed in writing by each CDS citizen via a notecard transmitted directly to the APCC Facilitator, will take place between October 15 and October 24.

6. The text of the question to be debated and answered by all CDS citizens wishing to do so, as outlined above, is as follows:

"The original CDS Constitution stated that: "The number of representative seats in the RA is equal to the odd whole number nearest to 10% of the population, rounded down, with a minimum of five seats and a maximum of forty seats."

Should this provision of the original CDS Constitution regarding RA size be restored?"

6. The results of this Advisory CDS Citizens’ Consultation will be formally announced by the APCC Facilitator on October 25, 2014, at a time and place to be announced.”

This was followed on September 21. by this announcement by the Chancellor: “I am pleased to announce that Michel Manen has agreed to be the APCC Facilitator. I have asked Michel to form the commission and propose the new timeline for its work.”

AS APCC Facilitator (position offered to me only after it was offered by the Chancellor to Guillaume Mistwaker, who had volunteered for it before withdrawing due to understandable and urgent RL commitments), my assigned tasks consist in:

1. selecting a number of assistants to help me moderate the various discussions and debates that will take place over the next six weeks;

2. contacting all CDS citizens and persuading them to participate in such discussions and debates, in order to form their own, reasoned and informed opinions on this important matter; and

3. collecting the citizens’ notecards containing their response to the question set by the Chancellor, and reporting on the results.

The tasks of my assistants consist solely in assisting with the organization and moderation of the discussion sessions to be held over the coming weeks, as explained above.

Since we, as a group, have not been mandated to either express our opinions on this topic during the debates, nor prepare and submit any conclusions or recommendations after their end (in contrast to other commissions appointed by the RA currently at work), I had no need to inquire and did not in fact inquire as to Molly’s and Nolligan’s opinions on this matter, nor did I offer them mine. I simply explained to them how the process would unfold, and what their role would be, then proceeded with the task assigned to me to contact all CDS citizens and organize the required meetings.

In short, the answer to your question is: The Terms of Reference set by the Chancellor for this APCC: 1) provide me with the wording of the question to be asked of all CDS citizens; and 2) do not require me to consult with my assistants as to the specific wording of all my communications with CDS citizens, inviting them to participate in this process. I have fully complied with these Terms of Reference.
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Re: Advisory Popular Consultation Commission RE: RA Size

Post by Patroklus Murakami »

Michel Manen wrote:I had no need to inquire and did not in fact inquire as to Molly’s and Nolligan’s opinions on this matter
It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that this is a sectarian enterprise with a pre-determined outcome. Michel has presented a one-sided and biased account of the decision the RA took. He has conducted the commission so far in a high-handed manner and then attacked anyone who dares to question his actions or his statements. It is clear that this is being driven towards the conclusion the sponsors of this commission want to see.
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