3 Bills to improve the Constitution

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3 Bills to improve the Constitution

Post by josjoha »

The first two bills, presented in draft version for the sake of debate, are about the position of the Chancellor (not to be confused with whoever may be the Chancellor at the time of this reading; this has nothing to do with who is the Chancellor, and solely with the system in general.) The general theme on the two bills is to refine the powers of the Chancellor, and in general reduce them in favor of the R.A. in the case of one bill, and in favor of due process to the citizenry and the R.A. in the other.

A third bill is to recreate a proper Court system, which ties in with the due process afforded to the citizenry in the first bill.

Let me try to post these bills as separate posts, maybe it otherwise gets too long and messy, thank you...

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Bringing Chancellor power back to limited Government. v0.4

Post by josjoha »

The CDS Constitution now reads thusly:
http://portal.slcds.info/index.php/cds- ... stitution/

------------------------------------------------v------------------------------------------------------------------
Section 2 – Powers of the Chancellor
The Chancellor of CDS shall, subject to the laws of CDS, have the power:
(a) to determine the use to which any and all land in CDS shall be put;
-------------------------------------------------^-----------------------------------------------------------------

To be changed into:

------------------------------------------------v------------------------------------------------------------------
Section 2 – Powers of the Chancellor
a) Public land: The Chancellor has the duty to see to it that the land appropriations
and uses determined by the RA for public lands are adhered to.
------------------------------------------------^------------------------------------------------------------------

To be added in that section:
------------------------------------------------v------------------------------------------------------------------
Section 2 – Powers of the Chancellor
(...)
h) Private land: The Chancellor will advice citizens to comply with the laws about their own land, challenge citizens in court [SC?] who do not comply, or establish officers who carry out this duty.
i) Private land: When a gross violation is occuring within a private land or home of the
Covenants that is reasonably beyond debate as being a violation and that can reasonably
be said to be an out of the ordinary nuicance even for those trying to ignore it, the Chancellor
may act promptly without consultation against the offense; the so affected citizen will be
afforded a message by the Chancellor for the decision to act; the so affected citizen may
challenge this decision in court.
------------------------------------------------^------------------------------------------------------------------


Reasoning:
Why to remove "any and all use" in the existing text:

The Chancellor is a branch of Government, with limited powers. It may not overstep those
limits. To have the power over "any and all land" is too strong. The Chancellor does not
have the power to evorthrow an entire simulator, to for example determine that all
houses will be 3 times as big suddenly, that NFS will have 2 squares, and immediately
proceed with the deletion of the objects that are in violation of this idea. The theme would
then still be "NFS, middle aged town, etc," conforming to section 4. However this is now
the power of the Chancellor, and there is nothing anyone can do about it because it is in
the Constitution. Only by a direct revolt in violation of the Constitution, could a Chancellor
be stopped. Before these problems occur, it is better to ammend the Constitution to what
people likely actually want it to mean.

Why to restrict this subsection to Public land instead:

Secondly: the entire Government is a limited Government, it is not an absolute totalitarian.
That is never how democracy is understood. Hence the Government does not have an
totalitarian right over people their private lands; it does however through it's natural
responsibility have the overreaching right over the commons - in the public service. Hence
where the Chancellor their power is described over the commons, this power can be quite
extensive, but must be so described as to exclude private lands and homes where people
enjoy even more inalienable rights and the right to sue in court before their home is destroyed
(for example), through the right of due process. The removal of private lands from this
section, requires that the public land be so named here.

Why to add a section on private land

To establish citizens right to their 'day in court' before their belongs are touched by the
executive. In normal real-life democracies, you would also typically be able to challenge
such decisions in a court. When police acts right away, it will typically be because there is
reasonably a grave issue that has to be corrected immediately. For example if someone
has a gas leak, the police will not wait to have it shut down until there has been a court
case.
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Bringing Chancellor power back to only executive: no RA veto

Post by josjoha »

The CDS Constitution reads, Chancellor:

------------------------------------------------v------------------------------------------------------------------
Section 6 – The Chancellor’s Veto
The Chancellor shall have the power to veto any act of the Representative Assembly, except any bill to remove the Chancellor from office. The Representative Assembly may override a veto with a vote by at least a two-thirds majority. In order to exercise the power of veto, the Chancellor shall post a public declaration of her or his intention to exercise that power, together with the name of the the Act in respect of which he or she seeks so to exercise, and the reasons for exercising it in respect of that Act, on the Confederation of Democratic Simulators web forums or wiki within seven days of the posting to the wiki of the Act in respect of which he or she seeks to exercise that power.
-----------------------------------------------^------------------------------------------------------------------

Proposed change:

------------------------------------------------v------------------------------------------------------------------
Section 6 – The Chancellor is a Subordinate officer to the RA

The Chancellor shall faithfully execute the commands and decissions of the R.A.
a) Failure to meet the aforementioned obligation will result in removal of the Chancellor
from office upon a vote of no confidence in the RA.
b) The RA will immediately provide for an interim Chancellor, elected by the RA,
until the end of the term or if so desired to hold new elections for the Chancellor
office.
c) If the same Chancellor is elected, the Chancellor can not be again removed by the
RA until the end of the term.
d) The Chancellor who has been removed from office by the RA can not be denied
by the RA to stand again on the ballot.
------------------------------------------------v------------------------------------------------------------------

Reasoning:
The Chancellor is the executive, that means that he is the doer, it does not mean
he has all the power. There is a power balance between the legislative and the
executive branch; the executive branch is the one that carries out the laws, and
is therefore subservient to them. That means that an executive has no business
controlling the legislative process. Secondly the Chancellor is just one person, whereas
the RA is a group and more directly representative of the pluriformity of the people.
The RA therefore has the more perfect democratic mandate, and therefore properly
supresses and controls the excetive. This has been reversed in this model with the
Chancellor's veto, it should be the other way around: the RA vetoes the Chancellor
at will.

Personally (Josjoha) I think the chancellor should be appointed
by the RA, and not be directly elected. Even better would be not to elect a Chancellor
or single-head excecutive at all. Only appoint ministers for the various tasks that need
doing, by the RA and serving the RA. (It is perhaps good to know that this is an old and known political issue between the Presidential form of western democracy (France, USA, etc), and the Parliamentary form of western democracy (Netherlands). In the Parliamentary form there are no direct-elections for a top-(wo)man, everyone is put in power by the parliament and until the parliament throwns them out again. There is a fair amount of material on this issue on the internet, it could be interesting. Perhaps a brokered middle position is possible. CDS now is a Presidential system, it is not a parliamentary system. The attempt of this bill is to move from a Presidential to a Parliamentary system.)
Last edited by josjoha on Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Bringing Justice to CDS: proper courts and due process.

Post by josjoha »

The Constitution now reads:
------------------------------------------------v------------------------------------------------------------------
Article III – The Philosophic Branch
Section 1 – The Scientific Council
The Scientific Council (SC) is a self-selected meritocracy. Its governmental role is to
interpret and enforce the constitution. Its service roll (ed. note: sic) is to resolve
citizen disputes and moderate user forums and events.

(...)
------------------------------------------------^------------------------------------------------------------------

Proposing to change Article 3 into this, after renumbering to fit the
CDS Constitution:

------------------------------------------------v------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 4: Judiciary


Article 1. Lower court

Lower court Judges are proposed by the Supreme Court,
and are confirmed in office by the Representative Council.

Article 1.1 tenure

The lower court Judges are in office for the term of the
Government appointed them, and the term of the next
Government.

Article 1.2 chamber

All lower court cases are presided over by three judges.

Article 1.3 quality

Lower Court Judges are of good character and in good standing
with most or all of the citizenry. They are familiar with law
in general, the law of this nation, and the principles of a
fair trial.


Article 2 High Court

High court Judges are proposed by the current Representative Council
and are confirmed on approval by the next Representative Council.

Article 2.1 tenure

High Court Judges are in office until there are more then seven
appointed, at which point the last to be appointed is retired.

Article 2.2 chamber

All High Court cases are presided over by five judges, who shall
be chosen to hear a case by lottery if more then five make themselves
available.

Article 2.3 quality

High Court Judges have served as lower court judges, unless
none can be found. High Court Judges are of good character,
and in good standing with most or all of the citizenry.


Article 3 Objectivity

A Judge can not hear a case in which the Judge has personal
entanglements or vested interests.


Article 4 emergency Judges

When no Judges can be found and a case can not be postponed,
then two laymen Judges will take the place of one Judge on
the case at hand, who are appointed by the Representative Council
for that court case with a two third majority, selected for their
relatively neutral position to the subject of the case.

Article 4.1 Peoples court

If the search for laymen Judges (Chapter 4, Article 4) remains
unsuccesful, and a search outside the bounds of the citizenry
has not yielded the nation a Judge, then the People must hear the
case, deciding it by Balanced Referendum (see Chapter 3).
------------------------------------------------^------------------------------------------------------------------

Reasoning: this philosophic "self appointed" meritocracy is obscurantist,
self apointed, and thus has no mandate to rule or do Justice. The above
is a cut and paste from a Constitution specifically designed for the CDS.
It will give CDS a court system, in name and hopefully in function.

(Note: this is a draft proposal.)
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Re: 3 Bills to improve the Constitution

Post by Bagheera »

I am never in favor of the People hearing a case... one purpose of a judicial branch is to protect the rights of minorities and disenfranchised who would otherwise be trodden down by majority opinion. I can see you have put a lot of thought into this. The Scientific Council went under public review recently, you might take a look at the minutes from that period.
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Re: 3 Bills to improve the Constitution

Post by cleopatraxigalia »

Good work Jos. The part I think needs to be looked at first is the
Reform of the Chancellor's office. I agree with what you point out ! First the current constitution reads :
------------------------------------------------v------------------------------------------------------------------
Section 2 – Powers of the Chancellor
The Chancellor of CDS shall, subject to the laws of CDS, have the power:
(a) to determine the use to which any and all land in CDS shall be put;


While I think that only means public land, not private land. It is still much too broad of a statement. That phrase above you point out.. "to determine the use of any and all land in CDS shall be put"...
is a recipe for disaster and opens the possibility for all sorts of actions by a rogue chancellor that could harm CDS and its future.




The main reason is that the office is way too powerful. A rogue chancellor with the laws and rules we have now could cause great financial strife to our community by both action and inaction.

Also, the duties are too broad and many for one person. The chancellors office without a large active staff cannot function properly. So electing someone who can delegate and inspire volunteerism is crucial.

When I came back to CDS it was because I had read on the forums about the CDS financial crisis. Making sure the chancellor's office duties are reworked can secure our financial future and stop the LEAKING of the reserves we have been seeing.

I would like to see the new RA look at chancellors duties and reform of that office FIRST in the 20th RA session.
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Re: 3 Bills to improve the Constitution

Post by cleopatraxigalia »

Another reason For reforming the office of Chancellor first:
Under current law:

The chancellor can determine when to set land for sale to whom and for how much.

A chancellor can let land go into arrears and take it at his or her discretion or leave it on hold without income depending on the connection the chancellor has to the avatar.

The chancellor alone can determine when land can be sold and even give land away, negating the purchase price of land for anyone they choose.

A chancellor might even think he can just decide to take any citizens plot against their will without asking anyone as long as they offer the avatar another one or give compensation.

Oh, and I guess, if a person abandons a parcel and asks for a refund, when the for sale sign comes up on the tier box , a rogue chancellor can take the land away from a passer by who might legitimately buy the land and give it to the person of the rogue chancellor's choice.

It is not a matter of IF these things happened it is the point that they can legally happen now. I am personally not ok with statements like" chancellor "so and so" would never do this. Thinking about it , a rogue chancellor would be able to possibly use this to erode the very core of democracy with these powers since land in CDS is so closely tied to voting and who can vote.



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Re: 3 Bills to improve the Constitution

Post by josjoha »

Bagheera wrote:I am never in favor of the People hearing a case... one purpose of a judicial branch is to protect the rights of minorities and disenfranchised who would otherwise be trodden down by majority opinion. I can see you have put a lot of thought into this. The Scientific Council went under public review recently, you might take a look at the minutes from that period.
That is an emergency situation:

Article 4 emergency Judges

When no Judges can be found and a case can not be postponed,
then two laymen Judges will take the place of one Judge on
the case at hand, who are appointed by the Representative Council
for that court case with a two third majority, selected for their
relatively neutral position to the subject of the case.

Article 4.1 Peoples court

If the search for laymen Judges (Chapter 4, Article 4) remains
unsuccesful, and a search outside the bounds of the citizenry
has not yielded the nation a Judge
, then the People must hear the
case, deciding it by Balanced Referendum (see Chapter 3).

Actually I haven't put a lot of thought into this, but I have written a few Constitutions before so it's not the first time I'm looking into this issue. I'm not really interested in a S.C., because in my mind it stops being of interest after the phrase "self appointed meritocracy." I find it impossible to swallow that, and I don't understand it, sorry. I just don't know what to say to something like that, for a Court system. Self appointed (!!!). Self-appointed in the field of democratic Constitutions and practices of any kind is just the most absurd thing; it just doesn't happen, it's never happened as far as i know either. Not even Kings are self-appointed, Napoleon aside I suppose. This is a very serious error in the CDS system, i think: a self-appointed judiciary ! We look foolish as the CDS ? I think so. Let's fix this; it doesn't have to be the bill I proposed, but we need to get away from a self-appointed judiciary in my humble opinion.

thanks for your interest,
excuse my bluntness if any,
josjoha
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Re: 3 Bills to improve the Constitution

Post by josjoha »

cleopatraxigalia wrote:Good work Jos. The part I think needs to be looked at first is the
Reform of the Chancellor's office. I agree with what you point out ! First the current constitution reads :
------------------------------------------------v------------------------------------------------------------------
Section 2 – Powers of the Chancellor
The Chancellor of CDS shall, subject to the laws of CDS, have the power:
(a) to determine the use to which any and all land in CDS shall be put;


While I think that only means public land, not private land. It is still much too broad of a statement. That phrase above you point out.. "to determine the use of any and all land in CDS shall be put"...

Thanks Cleo ! I think you are correct in pointing out the various broad powers that the current Chancellor has, which can likely both weigh heavy on the job to be done, while at the same time open the CDS up to the abuse of power whether unintended or even intended. In the field of law one always must assume the worst, that's after all what law is for. I concur that "any and all" land is too far, and because this is a Constitution every word is going to be taken so much more serious then if it wast just street side talk. A competent Judge will think about it that way, and ask: "why did it not say 'any land' but added 'any and all land' ?" What is the purpose of the 'and all.' It must have a purpose, because this is a Constitution, every word is written in stone, cut in the soul of the nation if you will, presumably with the utmost of care. Hence the risk is that it will truely mean what it literally says: any and all land. Thus it's worrying an unnecessarily wide - as presumably nobody wants the Chancellor to have ongoing power of whim over private lands.

Sorry to harp on it, which is one of my failings. But I agree: the curb the power back to have more limits seems wise.

regards josjoha
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Re: 3 Bills to improve the Constitution

Post by josjoha »

Bagheera wrote:I am never in favor of the People hearing a case...
Good ideas always take time so, after having thought a bit more I come to the conclusion you then should support that bill for a proper Court system, because it means there will be less "People hearing a case" then ever. Perhaps this is what you also meant ? The reason is that there are several mechanisms placed in between having to resort to something like that in an emergency where you don't have judges, namely to then find at least a somewhat competent larger court, and if that also fails then to search outside the nation.

Without this law, in actual fact the People in general will long have since ruled on the case, and pushed their decision through by sheer force of numerical weight (in my opinion).

Example: someone griefs the CDS, people are really upset and want the individual banned. However, all judges are on vacation, and some say they have resigned; the situation can last for months. What is going to happen if after 4 weeks the CDS has been griefed by this citizen-avatar all the time ? People aren't going to sit and wait for a court-case that isn't coming, they're going to act. They have to act ! In this bill, you at least try to streamline that situation to find then mildly competent judges, and even go outside your nation to get a competent judge. I imagine nobody thinks about those options when the tempers are flaring. No: the People will rule, quick and decisive in this case (as indeed they should eventually).

regards josjoha
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