Sorry guys. I'm afraid that I have to completely oppose this proposal vehemently, to be consistent with myself: I fundamentally oppose ostracism in all its forms, either veiled, implicit, or quite explicit. Pat and Sudane know exactly where I stand on this, and we have disagreed about the need of ostracism in democracy for years and years
I'm sure neither will be surprised that I make, once again, my stand as the defender of inclusion and a repudiator of ostracism.
That doesn't mean that I'm simply stating a philosophical ideal and refusing to see any contradicting opinions, blinded by my ideals. That's not true; I've certainly discussed ostracism laws openly in the forums, but also privately, in emails and in-world informal gatherings. I've listened to all the arguments about how "certain people" tend to disrupt communities, and the "best way" is to force them to leave, before their damage is overwhelming and the community breaks apart because of them. I have listened and thought a lot
To be fair, the temptation is great. All of us, at some point, would rather prefer that the CDS only had our friends in it, and that we had a way to exclude disruptive members of the CDS. We imagine that as our utopian paradise: a way to have peace, have fun, engage in interesting and constructive activities, instead of having to deal with disruption, insults, and community fractures. So obviously I have often felt that temptation as well... it's just human, I guess.
But over the years — and perhaps also thanks to my own spiritual training — I have accepted that things changed. The worst enemies can become the best friends over time, and the reverse certainly becomes true. People's moods change over time, and someone who was nagging and pestering suddenly becomes caring, loving, and sympathetic. People's reactions also change: we might become more tolerant over time, or, by contrast, everything starts to annoy us. And, more likely than not, whatever the reason, our opinion changes over time. I have some friends that love to quote me stating precisely the opposite of what I defended years ago
My views of democracy are inclusive, not exclusive. Re-reading Kaseido's 2010 article, published on a scientific journal, quoting my over-optimistic goals of having 5% of the grid to be a self-governed democracy, made me smile. But ten years ago I really had that ambition: making the CDS a model of inclusion, showing its tolerance to differing views (and personalities!), setting an example to show that people can live under a democracy without necessarily agreeing with each other. Without an inclusivity clause — without abhoring ostracism — the CDS cannot become more than a "private club" where a handful of citizens have an odd way of dealing with issues, but leave people out when they hold different opinions than the majority.
I'm really sorry, but ten years of a democratic CDS have failed to convince me that ostracism is a good idea.
In fact, some of you might remember how Ulrika was actually expelled from the CDS, and what measures where taken. To be more precise, Ulrika hasn't even been banned from the CDS (she can visit us any time, if she wishes). Our ultimate sanction — the equivalent of the "death penalty" in the countries that have it — is actually removing the right to ever become a citizen again
. But to enact that, it required a very extensive procedure — a region-wide devastation, an abuse of group powers, and a huge trial, with lots of input from witnesses from both sides, to result in a very long document detailing everything. That was done only once in our history.
The current proposal to simply remove members of the RA when they got elected, but people somehow regret their decision — which was expressed in their vote! — and now have a different mechanism to remove them from office... well, it's ostracism at its best. The election results are not necessarily obvious during the campaining; STV makes predictions harder (because of 2nd, 3rd choices etc.). So citizens, when voting, are hoping that their friends are in and their enemies are out, but sometimes (often!) that doesn't happen. The proposed mechanism on this thread would effectively give citizens a second chance to throw out their enemies from office — while STV was designed to allow minorities to get a seat, specifically to avoid excluding minority voices from having a role in a democracy.
And we do, indeed, have mechanisms to remove RA members from office. The first, and most important one, is that candidates serve for a term of six months, and then we have new elections
That's the best way of removing people we don't like from office — just don't vote of them. Simple.
Then, the RA also has internal procedures to remove one of their members from office. Typical scenarios would be someone that fails to meet continuously — say, someone who lost Internet access for six months, without the ability to log in. In those cases, it makes sense to remove them from office, and this can be dealt internally by the RA. I can definitely agree with more sanctions, like missing 4 RA meetings — that's actually a very good idea: if RA members fail to do the duties for which they have been elected, it makes sense to impose sanctions of some sort.
And, finally, we have impeachment. The SC can still impeach RA members, as far as I know, for their failure to execute their duties — namely, failing to uphold the Constitution and our Laws. Of course, we expect the SC to use that power wisely. But I can certainly accept the idea that groups of citizens make a petition to the Dean of the SC, based on their view of how the Constitution and the Laws have been upholded (or not) by a certain member, to start impeachment trials against that member. This would be quite consistent with the SC's powers and the spirit of our legislation. Of course, it would be the SC's privilege to decide if they accept the petition or not. But I can imagine that a petition signed by more than half the population would definitely encourage a SC to initiate impeachment against a RA member. Note that it would still be a fair trial: that member would certainly have the right to defend themselves publicly!
In my mind, we have no further need for any other laws to remove RA members from office. I will certainly never sponsor any ostracism laws, and firmly oppose them, as long as I'm a RA member
On a lighter note, if you dislike my strong opinion, feel free to impeach me
But I simply prefer that you vote me out of office on the next term
That's the democratic way.