Public Comment on SC Discussion of Chancellor Removal

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Bromo Ivory
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Re: Public Comment on SC Discussion of Chancellor Removal

Post by Bromo Ivory »

theprincessparisi wrote:

If i were removed from CDS it would probably solve everyone's problems.

Not in this case - I do believe that the larger issue is trying to use the SC to reverse decisions of the RA when the minimum constitutional requirements (a vote) has been met. If the SC determines that the RA was "in error" in their vote, and somehow get Alexicon to be Chancellor - the CDS will have lost - and the Chancellor would really be answerabe to the SC and no one else.

SO stay or go ... the CDS has an issue regardless - a good system can resist pot-stirring.

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Gwyneth Llewelyn
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Re: Public Comment on SC Discussion of Chancellor Removal

Post by Gwyneth Llewelyn »

Well, that's a very good point, Bromo. In fact, unpopular decisions by the RA (example: voting the Jurisdiction Act) tend to be reverted by the SC when the public opinion swings strongly against the RA's decisions. You're very right in noticing the (existing) precedent here.

On the other hand, the point of having a "Philosophical Branch" is exactly to go beyond a strict legalistic interpretation of the laws (which the RA certainly applied in this case) and also apply a moralistic/philosophic interpretation. I'm fine in having the SC reviewing this case on a moral point of view.

What I'm not fine is with the constant allegation that the RA was "too harsh" or "too quick" to act. With due respect to Alex, whom I love as a person and appreciate the enormous amount of work he has done for the CDS, the RA did not act harshly or quickly; in fact, if I weren't a member of the RA, I would now be claiming an answer from them to explain to the public how the RA could have possibly allowed this issue of the payments to drag for 6 months and not do anything about it! As said, about 13 people were waiting for L$54,000 or so to be paid for ages, and it's not fair to allow the Chancellor to delay those payments just because Alex is a very nice person...

It's a question of principle. The law has to apply to nice people too, not only to people we dislike. It's very tough when it happens, but I don't see any other way to show that the law applies to everybody — specially in cases such as this when the reputation of the CDS overall is questioned.

And yes, Arria, the community might be small, but it doesn't mean that we're not serious about it! There are, obviously, limits. I thought that the CDS only owned a few L$, since we have seen that every month, L$5000 are spent in Advertising and Promotion, and I thought that most people had been paid out of it. So I believed truthfully that there were just one or two pending payments, and that would have been "tolerated", even if technically owing a single L$ would be more than justified as a matter of principle. But there is a trade-off. Owing L$1 to one person is not the same thing as owing L$54000 to 13! The amount of money owed made the whole issue way more serious than we thought...

Now, Bromo, you suggest that the RA reviews their decision on its own, without SC interference. It might happen. The decision was made without access to all data, namely, that the payments were "under way". It's completely different to enact a decision based on an assumption — that the Executive didn't wish to pay anyone and refused to do so, in spite of all the pressure, and finally a bill establishing a deadline by the RA — and later on, after the fact, reviewing the decision and noticing that the only failure was a lack of communication, not a willingness to disregard the RA's laws. Both Sudane and Alex explained that the payments were in fact ordered and accepted for payment before the deadline, just due to unavoidable delays and a posteriori explanations the RA was informed that people were, indeed, paid.

I'm prepared to move a motion on the next RA to review the RA's decision and convert it into a reprimand instead: that the RA (and the public) cannot be left in ignorance of the intentions of the Executive in matters as serious as these. If Alex's payment order to Sudane had been made public — even if the payments were never done! — the RA would obviously have made a different decision. Keeping the RA and the public "in the dark" is a very bad idea, specially because the RA has no other choice but to make decisions based on the few scattered facts that people tell them, or publicly post somewhere.

It's too late to revert the "harm"; but it can be mitigated. It was definitely established that there was no intention to ignore the RA's laws. Only communication failed. It's so very easy to see this a posteriori. But walk in the RA's shoes for a while: if you had absolutely no idea, no communication, no response, no availability of any member of the Executive to ask what was going on, what would you do? Or perhaps the better question is not what you would do, but how would you feel about it?

As a RA member, I'm doubly hurt. First, for having to make an unpopular decision against a member of the community which I adore since the first day he came to the CDS with his amazing dance animations; but secondly, because the RA apparently is not worth the minimum of attention to get a single IM or email about the issue and was basically kept in the dark about everything. The first issue is a personal one and perhaps not so important (except for myself). The second one is a serious problem, since it means that it can happen again.

It's crucial that the RA is fed all relevant information to make proper decisions. The rest of the citizens, whatever their role in Government, NGOs, or other organisations, cannot fail to communicate properly through established channels, or even informally with strict authorisation to publish the information publicly. We have to become better at this!

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Claude Desmoulins
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Re: Public Comment on SC Discussion of Chancellor Removal

Post by Claude Desmoulins »

Gwyneth Llewelyn wrote:

On the other hand, the point of having a "Philosophical Branch" is exactly to go beyond a strict legalistic interpretation of the laws (which the RA certainly applied in this case) and also apply a moralistic/philosophic interpretation. I'm fine in having the SC reviewing this case on a moral point of view.

But as has been noted before, how much latitude to be philosophical does the SC(part of the "Philosophic Branch" in the earliest texts) actually have?

Our pre Judiciary Act constitution included the following paragraph at the beginning of Art III, Sec 8 (Powers of the SC)

Old Constitution wrote:

Members of the Philosophic branch are not bound by a strict literal
interpretation of the Bill of Rights, Founding Philosophy,
Constitution, or the strict adherence to legal precedence.
Rather members of the SC are required to draw upon their
individual fields of expertise to solve complex social issues.

The Judiciary Act removed this, and when the JA was repealed, the above paragraph wasn't put back. The old constitution specifically directed the SC to interpret broadly. The new one is silent. In the absence of the above quoted paragraph, I believe there's been a tendency on the part of the SC to be more strict in its readings.

Gwyn wrote:

What I'm not fine is with the constant allegation that the RA was "too harsh" or "too quick" to act. With due respect to Alex, whom I love as a person and appreciate the enormous amount of work he has done for the CDS, the RA did not act harshly or quickly; in fact, if I weren't a member of the RA, I would now be claiming an answer from them to explain to the public how the RA could have possibly allowed this issue of the payments to drag for 6 months and not do anything about it! As said, about 13 people were waiting for L$54,000 or so to be paid for ages, and it's not fair to allow the Chancellor to delay those payments just because Alex is a very nice person...

It's a question of principle. The law has to apply to nice people too, not only to people we dislike. It's very tough when it happens, but I don't see any other way to show that the law applies to everybody — specially in cases such as this when the reputation of the CDS overall is questioned.

Just to be clear, what happened to Alex was not an impeachment, thus the question of whether Alex violated the law wasn't on the table explicitly.

Gwyn wrote:

As a RA member, I'm doubly hurt. First, for having to make an unpopular decision against a member of the community which I adore since the first day he came to the CDS with his amazing dance animations; but secondly, because the RA apparently is not worth the minimum of attention to get a single IM or email about the issue and was basically kept in the dark about everything. The first issue is a personal one and perhaps not so important (except for myself). The second one is a serious problem, since it means that it can happen again.

It's crucial that the RA is fed all relevant information to make proper decisions. The rest of the citizens, whatever their role in Government, NGOs, or other organisations, cannot fail to communicate properly through established channels, or even informally with strict authorisation to publish the information publicly. We have to become better at this!

Perhaps someone will draft a "CDS Sunshine Law" setting forth what constitutes official notice, public posting and setting requirements. The relative dearth of postings (for example, the most recent results summary from the RA is for the June 7 meeting and nothing has been added to the code section of the wiki since March) makes it difficult even for the SC to know which statutes are in force. More thoughts on this later.

Last edited by Claude Desmoulins on Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: corrected to properly quote previous post
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Desmond Shang
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Re: Public Comment on SC Discussion of Chancellor Removal

Post by Desmond Shang »

Right now, I wouldn't invade even if invited...

Shame about the embassy thing. Was all geared up for that, but... outta land for it now.

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Jamie Palisades
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Re: Public Comment on ... Chancellor Removal (cross-post)

Post by Jamie Palisades »

Count on my old friend Despot Des to see this as having something, somehow, to do with Caledon.
Real democracy's tough. Much harder than tycoonery. :D

My own take on the removal, and how to UNDO it, is posted elsewhere, at links from this page: http://forums.slcds.info//viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1971

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Re: Public Comment on SC Discussion of Chancellor Removal

Post by cleopatraxigalia »

MT pointed something out to me... the fact that.......in order for anyoneto reinstate Alexicon.. we first have to remove Pip, who has done NOTHING wrong.. so how can we then remove Pip......if we were not able to remove alexicon we certainly have no reason to remove.. Pip..

my oh my... what a dilemma

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Re: Public Comment on SC Discussion of Chancellor Removal

Post by Dnate Mars »

theprincessparisi wrote:

MT pointed something out to me... the fact that.......in order for anyoneto reinstate Alexicon.. we first have to remove Pip, who has done NOTHING wrong.. so how can we then remove Pip......if we were not able to remove alexicon we certainly have no reason to remove.. Pip..

my oh my... what a dilemma

The RA needs no reason to remove a Chancellor from power. They can remove and appoint new chancellors at will, with or without reason.

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Aliasi Stonebender
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Re: Public Comment on SC Discussion of Chancellor Removal

Post by Aliasi Stonebender »

Exactly so. It's something of a pity they chose to do this right before the election, so the voters shall have to wait before punishing representatives so hasty that they felt the need to take such major action without some response time. This is the first time a chancellor has been recalled, after all, or even voted TO recall.

The demonstrated ease of doing so probably contributes to the relative uselessness of the office; it's hard to make waves when offending a scant few people can have you removed. Not that I'd know anything about that kind of thing, right? ;)

Edit: Which is not to say that, if Alex hasn't been paying people, there isn't a good cause. But there wasn't a thing posted here on the forums until it happened, and I find that very irregular.

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Gwyneth Llewelyn
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Re: Public Comment on SC Discussion of Chancellor Removal

Post by Gwyneth Llewelyn »

Aliasi Stonebender wrote:

[...]But there wasn't a thing posted here on the forums until it happened, and I find that very irregular.

Except, of course, for the RA transcripts, where this was thoroughly discussed for the past three weeks...

Then again, the RA meeting of today rendered the whole discussion a bit irrelevant :)

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Aliasi Stonebender
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Re: Public Comment on SC Discussion of Chancellor Removal

Post by Aliasi Stonebender »

Gwyneth Llewelyn wrote:
Aliasi Stonebender wrote:

[...]But there wasn't a thing posted here on the forums until it happened, and I find that very irregular.

Except, of course, for the RA transcripts, where this was thoroughly discussed for the past three weeks...

Ah, yes, the noted beacon of clarity of intent and deed that is the RA transcripts. :roll:

Then again, the RA meeting of today rendered the whole discussion a bit irrelevant :)

Not really. It still means that the RA can make major changes to one third of the government on a lark with roughly the same amount of ease as passing a regulation on what size sign one can have on their store. (given the two-thirds requirement is more of a technicality than a barrier, at the moment.)

I'd suggest passing some modifications, but, well... RA.

Really, this says less about Alexicon and more about the general lack of communication we have around here, from following the post-mortem. Poor at the best of times and it's only gotten worse, and I suspect this is the true root of the problem... but I'm not in the business of fixing the CDS government these days, and constitutionally prohibited from looking to.

I can't complain about finally getting my archivist back pay, though, so some good has come from it all.

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Jamie Palisades
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Re: Public Comment ... removal repealed (cross-post)

Post by Jamie Palisades »

Official capacity comment:

Please be advised of the repeal of the chancellor's removal. See:
http://forums.slcds.info/viewtopic.php? ... 676#p11676

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