Recall of RA Members

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Patroklus Murakami
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Recall of RA Members

Post by Patroklus Murakami »

We have been discussing by-elections and the best way to deal with the situation where an RA member resigns before the end of term.

It has also been suggested that we should empower voters to remove RA members from office if, after the election, they prove to be regularly absent or for some other reason e.g. they behave badly and disrupt meetings or they adopt policy positions which are contrary to the policies they put in their election manifestos.

I think this could be a useful addition to the powers of our citizens. We have had RA members who stayed in office but rarely turned up to meetings. We have had RA members who said one thing to get elected and then behaved abominably when in office. The power to recall our representatives (and thereby force a by-election) could allow us to 'keep them honest' with the threat that they can be removed. Otherwise we have the situation right now where it is very difficult to get rid of an inadequate, absent or poorly performing RA member; if we don't choose carefully, we are stuck with them for the whole term.

I'd be happy to draft a proposal. What do others think of the idea?
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Re: Recall of RA Members

Post by Garnet Psaltery »

I believe this idea has merit. It could serve as a means to rid ourselves from troublemakers. It could also assist those finding themselves unable to fulfill their position yet reluctant to leave from a sense of obligation.
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Re: Recall of RA Members

Post by Patroklus Murakami »

It would be useful to have some feedback on this proposal before drafting something for the RA to consider.

My initial thoughts are that this would involve two stages: a petition and then a vote.

The petition would involve citizens making their dissatisfaction with an RA member known through, for example, signing a petition on the forums or adding their names to an in world object or sending a notecard to a designated official (SC Dean, Chancellor or Leader of the RA). You would need to have some sort of trigger point to move to the next stage e.g. 20% of citizens have to call for the recall of an elected member.

If the trigger point is reached, the SC would then hold an in world ballot to ask "Do you want to recall [insert name of RA member}?" If there were a majority of votes cast in favour of recall, the RA member would be relieved of their responsibility and a by-election called.
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Re: Recall of RA Members

Post by Rosie Gray »

As a current RA member, I'd be interested in you drafting up some legislation around this Pat. Thanks for taking the initiative. I think there should be some way to recall RA members just as there is in real life.
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Re: Recall of RA Members

Post by Victor1 »

I take NO CREDIT for this. It was sent to me by a friend, also an ex citizen of CDS who left a while ago and has been keeping an eye on whats going on. They sent me a notecard, and this notecard could be a foundation for Pat to work off of.

PROPOSAL FOR REMOVAL OF ELECTED OFFICIALS BY RECALL ELECTIONS

Any elected official may be removed from office without reason after serving at least 1/3 of the period of time of that official's term. (For instance, if an officia's term is for 180 days, actions to remove them from office by recall may commence after at least 60 daya after being sworn into office. )

To remove an elected official, a petition may be created by any eligible voting citizen of the CDS to hold a recall election for any elected official.

This petition may be created and posted on the CDS forum or in world by some other means such as the same mechanism used for voting provided a record is maintained of the citizens who support the recall election. (Note: This can be determined by the Representative Assemby).

In order to hold a recall election, the petition for recall election must contain a number of signatures at least equal to 25% of the number of people who voted in the last election. (Note: For instance if 81 people voted in the last election, the petition must contain at least 21 signatures of current eligible voters. This may include new citizens who were not present during the last election or citizens who did not vote in the last election provided they meet current CDS voting eligibility. )
The recall petition must recieve the required number of signatures within 14 days of a recall petition being publicly posted by both the forums and in a group notice. If the recall petition does not receive the required number of signatures within the time period, no recall election will occur. (In a RL, these signatures are a matter of public record and are verified by election officials as to ensure that the petition is legitamate.)

If the recall petition recieves the required number of signatures after 14 days of being posted, a recall election will be held at noon on the Saturday between 15 - 21 days after the petition's deadline, with notices going out to the voting population via in world group notice and forum posting within 3 days after the petition recieves the requiried number of siginatures. (For instance, if the recall petition receives the required number of signatures within 5 days of posting, the recall election will occur at noon SLT on the Saturday between 15 - 21 days after the 14 day deadline for signatures of the recall petition, however the notice would be posted no later than 8 days after the petition was posted. This is to ensure that there is ample notice to the voting population of the CDS.

The responsibility of posting notice of a recall election falls to the Dean of the SC. If the Dean fails to perform this function for any reason, any member of the SC may post the notice. The recall election will last 14 days from the date of the recall election.

Once the notice of a recall election is posted, any eligible citizen of the voting population of the CDS may begin campaining to run against the elected official being recalled and may be added to the ballot following current CDS laws.

The candidate who receives the most votes will take the place of the recalled official and be sworn in at the next regular meeting of the RA and serve out the remaining term of the recalled official.

If the recalled official is the head of the RA or the LRA, a new LRA will be appointed by the RA next meeting regular meeting of the RA.

If the recalled official is the Chancellor, then the newly elected chancellor will be sworn in at the next regular meeting of the RA and serve out the remaining term of the recalled Chancellor.

Any recalled official will be deemed to be removed from office effective at the end of the recall election, leaving their position vacant until a new official can be sworn in. This effectively keeps them from casting votes, making decisions, or participating in any capacity as an elected official.

No recall petition may be submitted within 35 days of an elected official's term.

No elected official may be subject to a recall election more than once during their term.
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Re: Recall of RA Members

Post by cleopatraxigalia »

Hmm... interesting concept vic. actually the chancellor can already be "recalled " by the ra. A member of the ra can be kicked out of any meeting by a vote of the ra.


Would the recall also be for SC members?


I see a problem potentially with the recall because mathematically you start comparing apples to oranges. The STV system is a ranking system counting first votes and passing along unneeded ones ..... This allows for minority groups in CDS to also have representation in the ra. This sort of 25% of the voters wanting to oust a minority candidate could prove to undermine the effectiveness of the representation the STV (single transferable vote ) gives minorities.

Currently our system allows for a chancellor to be impeached by the ra, and it has happened before. And ra members stand for election every six months and have only a 1/5 vote anyway and can be ousted from individual meetings by their peers for inappropriate behavior. Shrugs
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Pat, keeping it classy ...

Post by Bromo Ivory »

I don't see any good coming of this, actually. I see this as rife with abuse in SL, where someone who is "unpopular" is constantly having to fight the waves of drama to stay in a seat until it is only the ones that are agreeable to YOU are still sitting there. The best case scenario is that the RA serves at the pleasure of the SC, which isn't good either and isn't Democracy.

I honestly think that thsi is completely AGAINST the principles of Democracy we embody.

Or, perhaps we shoudl have a vote before every meeting of the RA to see if they are popular enough to pass laws, hmmm?

Really, honestly, what ARE you playing at, Pat?

I know you would boot CLEO in a New York minute if you could, why on Earth can you be committed to Democracy if your urge is to ban her and any others you don't like? It seems like an urge to PURGE rather than work with Democracy.
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Re: Pat, keeping it classy ...

Post by Rosie Gray »

Bromo Ivory wrote:I don't see any good coming of this, actually. I see this as rife with abuse in SL, where someone who is "unpopular" is constantly having to fight the waves of drama to stay in a seat until it is only the ones that are agreeable to YOU are still sitting there. The best case scenario is that the RA serves at the pleasure of the SC, which isn't good either and isn't Democracy.

I honestly think that thsi is completely AGAINST the principles of Democracy we embody.

Or, perhaps we shoudl have a vote before every meeting of the RA to see if they are popular enough to pass laws, hmmm?

Really, honestly, what ARE you playing at, Pat?

I know you would boot CLEO in a New York minute if you could, why on Earth can you be committed to Democracy if your urge is to ban her and any others you don't like? It seems like an urge to PURGE rather than work with Democracy.
Good heavens Bromo... your main activity is elswhere in SL and you've paid little attention to these forums for months. Now all of a sudden you are accusing people who have been here all along of having ulterior motives. I don't think that's fair at all. Any law that might arise from this would be equally applicable to whomever was in the government at any time, and could not be applied to someone because of bias. In any case, it's just a proposal and what is wrong with discussing ideas? That's highly democratic!
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Re: Recall of RA Members

Post by Garnet Psaltery »

Bromo, it's evident Cleo is your friend, so you may be pardoned for suddenly appearing on the scene imagining she is an innocent party besieged by drama queens. Presumably that is what she told you, but it is simply not the case.
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Re: Recall of RA Members

Post by Bromo Ivory »

Rosie, Garnet -

Regardless of who is and isn't a friend, recall elections in RL are highly disruptive to the business of government. Aside from eliminating people that some may like or not like 2hich smacks more of authoritarianism than democracy,

I think it interesting that Rosie is willing to dismiss me because of my non participation on the forums and absence in SL in general. (My current job has me working 12-16 hours a day 6 days a week, sometimes 7. Glad you missed my absence, but clearly CDS has suffered a lapse of tolerance and is starting to toy with ideas of purging people because they don't like them. I do not see how that would be to our ideals. There are lots of people in RL I do not like, but I don't consider "exile" "execution" or "prison" as being viable options. Why would it be here?) But no real refutation of my points.

So ... issues at hand, can I assume you think I am correct? Given you accusations of "Drama Queens" all I can assume is this law is specifically a targeted at her, then? I was simply trying to be provocative, and you give away your motives? So if you do not have ulterior motives ... is this simply RANDOM speculation? I do not buy it. So who do you have in mind for the first victim of the purge, then?

But you are right, discussion is democratic. And honestly, we can discuss bad ideas all day and night. One of the reasons I check in on the forums only once in awhile to understand the dialog and political thoughts swimming through the forums. Seems like we have a couple pieces of legislation where the RA will award itself the right to kick out people they simply do not like. How is someone who believes in both free speech and the democratic process supposed to interpret this? This certainly will have a chilling effect on free speech, and if taken to extremes CDS will no more be democratic than any other SIM except we will have mob rule rather than a SIM owner.

Even if I thought Cleopatra was the worst person in the world, I wouldn't for a minute think kicking her out would be a viable option - how can you claim to be a dmeocracy when you filter out those you don't like? Drama or no.

So ... you think that removing RA members you don't like is a good move? I don't, I think all it will create is wave after wave of drama that you claim to want to stop.
Garnet Psaltery wrote:Bromo, it's evident Cleo is your friend, so you may be pardoned for suddenly appearing on the scene imagining she is an innocent party besieged by drama queens. Presumably that is what she told you, but it is simply not the case.
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Re: Recall of RA Members

Post by Rosie Gray »

Bromo, I'm sorry you have taken this as some kind of attack on Cleopatra - I was not thinking that way at all. As a sitting member of the RA myself, it could be me that is kicked out! I simply think it's a good idea to consider, nothing more.
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Re: Recall of RA Members

Post by Garnet Psaltery »

Bromo Ivory wrote: So ... issues at hand, can I assume you think I am correct? Given you accusations of "Drama Queens" all I can assume is this law is specifically a targeted at her, then? I was simply trying to be provocative, and you give away your motives? So if you do not have ulterior motives ... is this simply RANDOM speculation? I do not buy it. So who do you have in mind for the first victim of the purge, then?
Bromo, you were the one who mentioned drama, and also mentioned Cleo. You must pardon me if I assumed these remarks were related! I have no motives in this law; I didn't raise it. I do think it might have merit in the instance of someone not playing their part but if it doesn't come about then it doesn't.
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Re: Recall of RA Members

Post by Patroklus Murakami »

Urge to purge! I like that, thanks Bromo :-)

There are some valid concerns that this kind of system could be abused but the draft proposal tackles them in my view. First of all, you need to get 25% of our citizens to call for an RA member to be recalled. If 20 out of 80 citizens think that someone is doing a lousy job or just not turning up for meetings then I think they should have the right to call the RA member to account.

The RA member would only lose their seat if a *majority* vote him/her out. So I don't see that as being a tool open to abuse for those who are unpopular with a minority. In that situation, the RA member would have to face a recall vote but retain their seat.

The draft also says that you can't initiate a recall with the first third of an official's term or subject them to this more than once per term.

I didn't draft any of this, it was given to Vic and to me by a former citizen. I think it makes a good basis for a Constitutional Amendment and I would be prepared to do some work on the draft to get it into shape. Of course, the bar is pretty high for that (4 out of 5 votes) so there would need to be a strong consensus around it for it to pass in the RA.

What's the alternative? With our current system we can vote in fruitcakes, loons, griefers and trolls with no way to get rid of them before the next election (and we have done in the past, many many times). If they get elected then fail to turn up to any meetings (which slows down our already glacial decision-making to a full stop) citizens have no way of saying "this is no good, we want someone else".
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Re: Recall of RA Members

Post by Bromo Ivory »

Patroklus Murakami wrote:Urge to purge! I like that, thanks Bromo :-)

[...]

What's the alternative? With our current system we can vote in fruitcakes, loons, griefers and trolls with no way to get rid of them before the next election (and we have done in the past, many many times). If they get elected then fail to turn up to any meetings (which slows down our already glacial decision-making to a full stop) citizens have no way of saying "this is no good, we want someone else".
The alternative is not to do it! It is a bad idea in RL, and a completely awful one in SL. It gets in the way of the work of the government, and will have a certain group with in the SIM constantly facing drama and BS this law will generate if they try to particiapte. The simplest reaction to facing a recall for a seat (which a minority candidate will NEVER win since the STV system will tilt towards helping minority opinions being represented) to leave the SIM. It isn't on the tips of bayonets, but it will be usurping minority rights. You may as well hold a popularity contest and form the top 25% of them, run the government, because this is what this sets up.

Agurably one of the main motivations is to reduce the amount of drama in the SIM. Guess what? This misguided proposal will up the drama quotient since all that will happen is peopel can whip up dissent and have someone who is unpopular amongst 25% of the population will essentially be drummed out fo the SIM. Given we have elections TWICE a year, I'd wonder about someone who continuously gets elected always facing a recall election. If we had a faction based system where memebers of the RA are appointed by the faction, you might have a point, but we don't.

Honestly, this is just handing MORE tools of drama to drum out people who are simply nont popular with the majority of people, but popular enough to represent some of them.

"Urge to Purge" my friend. This is a bad BAD proposal.

(ANd for the record, it really doesn't work much in the US where it is pioneered)

Oh, and if your main concern is people not showing up to RA meetings might I propose a simpler, non drama ridden law: "If an RA member fails to show up to 4 meeting in a term, the RA member's seat is forefit and an interim election will be held to find a replacement" - but even that might be a bad idea. When I sat in the RA, about half of the people (even you, Pat) were "phoning it in" with forum and notecard particiaption with the LRA.
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Re: Recall of RA Members

Post by Victor1 »

So basically what you are saying Bromo is once we elect in a group of people, thats it, we are stuck with them. If we dont like it we can leave.

Well, THATS a nice representation of "Democracy". LMAO.
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