Amendment to make factions optional

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Jamie Palisades
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Amendment to make factions optional

Post by Jamie Palisades »

Here is the text of a constitutional amendment that would permit our citizens to run for office, and vote for their choices, free of the shackles of factions. After several years of thought, and several terms in the executive branch after serving as LRA, I'm personally convinced that this is a better, simpler and far more mature alternative to the current squabbling system, and respectfully offer this suggestion to the CDS RA and citizens.

To really understand this change, all you need to do is read Article 1 Section 1. The authors wrote a government of, by, and for factions, whose primary stated duty was to have ideological battles. (Yes, really -- take a look -- it even says that.) What we need is a government of, by and for citizens, whose concern is the betterment of our community.

I will post comments, and invite other comments, elsewhere, because this thread is read-only.
An interesting discussion of the policy issues was launched by Pat Murakami here: http://forums.slcds.info/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2632
My contribution to it is here: http://forums.slcds.info/viewtopic.php? ... t=0#p14039

----
Constitution of the Confederation of Democratic Simulators
Ed. note: this version of the Constitution reflects all amendments to 7 December 2008 (Amendment 26)

2009 PROPOSED REVISION to remove mandatory factions
New text in bold; deleted text in [bracketed color]

Preamble
All branches of the government are bound to serve the public before themselves and to uphold the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, Founding Philosophy, Constitution, local laws, the SL ToS, and Community Standards without exception.

Article I - The Representative Branch
Section 1 - The Representative Assembly
The Representative Assembly (RA) is a body of democratically elected legislators[factions] which represent the[different ideological] views of CDS[its] citizens. Its governmental role is to pass laws and its service role is to promote the city and perform long-term planning.

Section 2 - The Representative Assembly Body
Representative seats are chosen by popular election, from among those candidates who qualify under the rules set forth here. Any citizen who is eligible to vote, at the time of nomination, may become a candidate by declaring themselves by a message to the Dean of the Scientific Council, within the time set by the Scientific Council for such nominations. [means of the Sainte-Laguë method using scores generated by Borda-count ranked votes cast by citizens. The last place rank in the Borda-count shall have a score of 0; and each successively higher rank shall have a score of 1 more than the next lower rank. The citizens will also rank the list of candidates from their first pick faction to serve on the RA.]
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.
[ALTERNATIVE 1] [In each RA election, voters may cast one vote for as many of the candidates as there are open RA seats to fill. The seats shall be awarded to the candidates who receive the highest vote totals among those standing for election.]
[ALTERNATIVE 2] [In each RA election, voters shall select from among the candidates using Single Transferable Voting (a ranked voting method).]

[Each faction controls their seats and may replace members or fill seats due to vacancies as they see fit. Each seat receives a single vote.]
The Representative Assembly shall serve for a term of six months. New RAs shall take office on [1 December]* and [1 June.]* Elections shall be held over a 168 hour period beginning at noon SLT on the Saturday before the 16th of the month prior to the new RAs taking office. In the event of a server outage which prevents citizens from casting ballots and which lasts more than 12 hours, the Dean of the SC has the authority to adjust or extend the election schedule.
* Dates recently changes by RA, and these take effect after the next general election.

Section 3 - The Leader of the Representative Assembly [Leader]
The Leader of the RA (“LRA”) is elected by the members of the RA at the first meeting after every semi-anuual general election, and at any other time when the office is vacant. [the head of the faction which receives the highest Borda Count score. In the event of a Borda count tie between two or more factions, the tie will be broken by one (in the event of a two way tie) or more (in the case of a three or more way tie) best of three games of Rock, Paper, Scissors among the faction heads/founders. The games shall be overseen by the dean of the SC, who shall be the custodian of the official city RPS device.] The Representative Assembly may elect one of its members to serve as Leader pro tempore who may act as Leader in the event of the absence of the Leader or if the position of Leader is vacant.

Section 4 - Proceedings
The RA will convene at least once per month[fortnight]. The RA may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior and with the concurrence of two-thirds expel a disruptive member from a session.

Section 5 - Journal
The RA shall keep and publish a journal of its proceedings. The individual votes of RA members shall be entered in the journal. Parts of the journal that are deemed secret by a 2/3 majority and with concurrence of the Philosophic branch will not be published. Secret journal entries may only be deemed secret if they prevent the exploitation of the city and citizens from external threats. All secret journal entries will have an expiration date at which time they will be voted upon again by the RA and verified as constitutional by the Philosophic branch.

Section 6 - Legislative Process and Veto
A vote in the RA is a simple majority vote of representative seats. Constitutional amendments require a 2/3 vote.
Final ratification of law is performed by the Philosophic branch, which can veto a bill or resubmit a modified bill for vote, if it conflicts with the Constitution. The Scientific Council may veto a revenue bill or resubmit a modified revenue bill for vote.

Section 7 - Powers of the RA
In regards to the Philosophic branch:
The RA provides a vote of confidence on candidates to the Philosophic branch. This vote is in regards to their perceived likelihood to uphold the constitution.
The RA can amend the constitution with a 2/3 vote.
The RA can seek impeachment of members of the Philosophic branch by initiating an impeachment hearing.

Section 8 - Limits on the RA
No member of the RA may engage in what might be considered a conflict of interest such as accepting money or favors from individuals or special-interest groups.
All changes to the rate of compensation for the RA, SC, Chancellor or Guildmaster shall take effect at the start of the term of the Assembly subsequent to the term in which the determination is made.

Article II - The Executive
Section 1 - The Chancellor
The Chancellor will serve as the executive of CDS, working to coordinate and plan community projects.

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;
(b) to expend monies held by the Office of the Chancellor of CDS for the administration and management of public facilities (including, but not limited to, roadways, signage, public buildings, public events and similar), and to discharge any other duties or powers of the Office of the Chancellor conferred by this Act or any other Act of the Representative Assembly;
(c) to publicise CDS;
(d) to appoint and pay deputies or other staff to hold office in the Office of the Chancellor of CDS to facilitate the discharge of any function of the Office of the Chancellor conferred by this Act or any other Act of the Representative Assembly;
(e) subject to the payment of adequate compensation to any citizen or citizens thereby affected, reclaim or swap any land held by any citizen of CDS for the purposes of discharging any function of the Office of the Chancellor conferred by this Act or any other Act of the Representative Assembly, provided always that no citizen of CDS shall not be caused to have no holding in Neufriestadt at all thereby;
(f) to make regulations pursuant to the above; and
(g) to enforce such regulations in accordance with law.

Section 3 - Public Oversight
The Chancellor must provide for regular and active citizen participation and public review of any decision concerning land use or the aesthetic or functional environment.

Section 4 - Themes
Nothing in this Act shall give the Chancellor of CDS any power to change the overall theme of Neufriestadt or any other sim or administered component of the CDS.

Section 5 - Chancellor Selection Process
The Chancellor of the CDS shall be selected by the Representative Assembly from among any CDS citizen who shall make application to the RA.
The application period shall begin when the membership of a new RA is named and end the first day of the new RA term. This provision shall come into force with the next RA election following passage and ratification of this amendment. (ed. note: the Seventh RA)
The chancellor will serve a term ending with the election of the next chancellor by the incoming RA.
The Chancellor may not be elected to or serve on the Representative Assembly, nor serve on the Scientific Council. The Chancellor may hold a position in the Artisanal Collective but may not vote therein.

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.

Section 7 - Removal from Office
The Chancellor may be removed from office prior to the expiration of the term of office by at least a two thirds vote of the Representative Assembly.

Section 8 - RA Oversight
Each month the Chancellor shall attend a meeting of the Representative Assembly, and fully and truthfully answer there any questions posed by any citizen about any aspect of the affairs of the CDS or of the Office of the Chancellor. The Chancellor will also attend upon three days notice at the written request from any member of the Representative Assembly.

Section 9 - AC Overlap
Any power or responsibility assigned to the Artisan's Collective by the constitution and precedent that overlaps those provided to the Chancellor in this amendment will be assigned to the Chancellor.

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.

Section 2 - The Scientific Council Body
The SC is comprised of Professors, Chairs, and a single SC Dean. Professors are chosen at the recommendation of current members based on demonstrated skill and desire to uphold the constitution without bias. Chairs are nominated by the Dean and approved by a simple majority vote. There are a maximum of nine Chairs available, with the Dean receiving one. Members of the SC can be voted out with a 2/3 majority.

Section 3 - The Scientific Council Leader
The Dean is elected by a simple majority vote of all members.

Section 4 - Proceedings
The SC will convene at least once per month. The SC may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior and with the concurrence of two-thirds expel a member from a session.

Section 5 - Journal
The SC shall keep and publish a journal of its proceedings. All individual votes of the members of the SC on any question shall always be entered in the journal, along with a statement regarding their personal philosophy on a given vote.

Section 6 - Ratification of bills passed by the Representative Assembly
Chairs of the SC will ratify bills passed by the Representative Assembly by simple majority vote and may resubmit the bill with modifications for vote.
The SC shall act as the Court of Common Jurisdiction, with the Dean of the SC appointing Chairs of the SC to hear specific trials, under the Code of Procedure previously passed by the RA, with any appeals heard by the full SC.

Section 7 - Hearings and Trials
Hearings and trials not involving government officials will be overseen by a single Professor. All impeachment hearings will be performed in the Philosophic branch by the Chairs without a jury. If a Chair is accused, that Chair will be excused for the duration of the hearing. A member of the branch which is not calling for the impeachment hearing will serve as Leader of the Philosophic branch during the hearing.

Section 8 - Powers of the SC
In regards to the Representative branch:
The Philosophic branch may veto or rewrite and resubmit a bill or constitutional amendment if it is in violation of any of the founding documents.
The SC can seek impeachment of members of the Representative branch for violating the constitution or acting illegally.
Impeachment proceedings
1. Impeachment is an order that a holder of public office cease to hold such public office, or is suspended from such office for any time with or without pay, and/or is disqualified either permanently or for a term certain from holding any or all public office or offices.
2. A person may only be impeached by the Scientific Council, sitting as a court, following a trial in accordance with law.
3. Only persons (or persons acting on behalf of bodies) specified in the text of the Constitution shall have the power to commence impeachment proceedings.
4. Subject to Article VI, Sections 2 and 7 of this Constitution, nothing in this Constitution shall prevent a Court of Common Jurisdiction from banishing any person, even where that person is a holder of public office in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, and banishment would preclude that person from continuing to hold such public office.
5. When a member of the Scientific Council brings impeachment proceedings, that person shall not sit as a judge of the Court of Scientific Council hearing those proceedings at any stage thereof.

Section 9 - Limitations of the SC
Any member can be voted out with a 2/3 majority.

Article IV - Factions
Section 1 - Requirements
Citizens, including RA members and candidates, may choose to organize and identify themselves with a specific CDS political faction. All factions must provide platforms which state their general philosophy and list of goals for the current and next term. Factions exist to promote the discussion of issues. Faction platforms cannot violate or seek to violate the Constitution[. Proposed] [, but proposed] Constitutional amendments may be advocated[listed].

Section 2 - The Faction Body
All faction members must be citizens of CDS, and their membership in the faction must be evidenced by [the Confederation of the Democratic Simulators and must join] joining a special Second Life[SL] group created for [the sole]that purpose [of running for seats in the RA]. No citizen[, RA candidate or RA member] is required to be part of a faction. No citizen can [and cannot] be a member of more than one faction at the same time. A faction who meets these requirements and notifies the Dean of the SC will be granted its own designated Forum, or similar official discussion area for posting comments, in the CDS official website for community and government communications.
[The minimum size requirement for a party to participate in RA elections shall be 10% of the total CDS population, rounded down.
The minimum faction size is equal to three. No later than 15 days prior to the opening of the polls, faction members will report to the SC Dean their willingness or unwillingness to serve in the RA. If there are no declared candidates fifteen (15) days before and election, that faction will be considered a non-election faction and not be placed on the ballot for that term. Based on the ranking form the general election, the faction members to be elected to the RA will selected based on the descending order of the number of points received based on the Borda-count of the rankings. The members will be selected until all available seats for the party are filled. If a member retires from the RA, a member with the next highest ranking in the same faction is takes a seat on the RA.
In the event that a faction, via resignation or impeachment, exhausts its list of eligible RA members drawn up at the previous general election during the course of an RA term:
1) If the faction no longer meets the constitutional requirements or if no members of the faction are willing to serve, there shall be a special election to fill, for the remainder of the term, the seats left vacant.
2) If the faction the list of which is exhausted still meets constitutional requirements as spelled out in Article V and there are members of that faction, who did not stand in the previous general election, willing to fill the vacated seats, members of the affected faction shall rank those candidates to fill the vacated seats as they do in the general election.]

Section 3 - The Faction Leader
Factions are lead by the faction leader (SL group officer) who vouches for all members in public proceedings and is responsible for their proper ethical conduct. Faction leaders are selected by the members of a faction and notified to the Dean of the SC. [those who receive the highest ranking in the faction.]

Section 4 - Campaigning
Campaigning for election in CDS[factions] can be done in-world only by means of unscripted items or simple notecard givers that are placed in traditional,[a] predetermined central CDS locations, [location] or by discourse between two avatars directly. No spamming of any kind is allowed, including the dropping of items on avatars without permission, sending messages by Second Life group IM (other than one's own faction group), or by shouting messages to large groups. Only two emails are allowed in a given election by any faction or representative of a faction.

Article V - Election, Term, and Office
Section 1 - Voting Frequency
Officials in the Government are elected for a period of time according to the general principles of democratic rotativity to ensure proper representativity in a changing society, whose duration will be fixed by the RA by passing appropriate laws. Elections for branches [and factions] are staggered equally throughout the term [and held in the following order: Philosophic branch, factions, and Representative branch].

Section 2 - Exclusivity
Citizens may not serve simultaneously in the Representative and Philosophic branch.

Section 3
No citizen shall be eligible to vote in any election for public office in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators unless he or she has been a citizen for not less than 28 consecutive days immediately before any such election.

Article VI - Citizenship
1. A citizen of the Confederation of Democratic Simulators is a resident of SecondLife who has been granted title to any land by the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, and who holds title under the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, for as long as he or she holds such title.
2. Without prejudice to any rule of law entitling any institution of government to substitute, or empower another person or body to substitute any land held by any citizen for any other land the holding of which would continue to entitle the person whose land has been substituted to be a citizen of the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, no citizen shall be deprived of citizenship in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, nor shall any person, whether a citizen or not, be banished from any public land in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, without trial in accordance with law, or consent not to be so tried.
3. Section 2 above is subject to any rule of law whereby a person is deemed to have consented not to be tried by having failed within reasonable time to respond or respond fully to any notice sent to that person in respect of any such prospective trial, nor any rule that specifies what shall constitute a reasonable time.
4. Section 2 above shall be without prejudice to any rule of law whereby a person may summarily be banished by any citizen of the Confederation of Democratic Simulators appointed for such a purpose by any duly ratified Act of the Representative Assembly (or by any person or body deriving her his or its power to do so from any such Act), for up to fourteen consecutive days (but without revocation of citizenship or forfeiture of any asset).
5. Section 2 above shall be without prejudice to any rule of law whereby a person may be banished temporarily by Order of a Court of Common Jurisdiction pending such a trial as is mentioned therein (but without revocation of citizenship or forfeiture of any asset).
6. Any citizen may cease to become a citizen by submitting a notice in a form that may be prescribed by any duly ratified Act of the Representative Assembly (or, if no such form is specified, by notifying the Chancellor in writing) seven days in advance of the date on which that person is to cease to be a citizen.

Article VII - The Judiciary (repealed)
(Ed. note: Amendment 19 repealed Article VII.)

== My Second Life home is CDS. Retired after three terms
== as chancellor of the oldest self-governing sims in SL.
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Gwyneth Llewelyn
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Re: Amendment to make factions optional

Post by Gwyneth Llewelyn »

For the sake of completeness, I would like to suggest the following change, as said by Jamie Palisades during the RA meeting on January 10, 2010:

On Article 1, Section 2

- Use Alternative 2
- Add the following sentence: "Vacancies in RA positions will be filled by by-election administered on a schedule set by the Scientific Council consistent with other applicable CDS law." to replace (the orange-coloured text to be deleted) "Each faction controls their seats and may replace members or fill seats due to vacancies as they see fit. Each seat receives a single vote."

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Constitution as amended

Post by Gwyneth Llewelyn »

Also for the sake of completeness... some people were a bit confused about what is the final reading of the Constitution. Taking the bits from both Jamie's and my short post, this is the final reading then, which still requires the final 7-day-votes to be sent to the LRA and the SC ratification to enter in effect:

Constitution of the Confederation of Democratic Simulators
Ed. note: this version of the Constitution reflects all amendments to 7 December 2008 (Amendment 26)

Preamble
All branches of the government are bound to serve the public before themselves and to uphold the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, Founding Philosophy, Constitution, local laws, the SL ToS, and Community Standards without exception.

Article I - The Representative Branch
Section 1 - The Representative Assembly
The Representative Assembly (RA) is a body of democratically elected legislators which represent the views of CDS citizens. Its governmental role is to pass laws and its service role is to promote the city and perform long-term planning.

Section 2 - The Representative Assembly Body
Representative seats are chosen by popular election, from among those candidates who qualify under the rules set forth here. Any citizen who is eligible to vote, at the time of nomination, may become a candidate by declaring themselves by a message to the Dean of the Scientific Council, within the time set by the Scientific Council for such nominations.
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.
In each RA election, voters shall select from among the candidates using Single Transferable Voting (a ranked voting method).
Vacancies in RA positions will be filled by by-election administered on a schedule set by the Scientific Council consistent with other applicable CDS law.
The Representative Assembly shall serve for a term of six months. New RAs shall take office on 1 December* and 1 June.* Elections shall be held over a 168 hour period beginning at noon SLT on the Saturday before the 16th of the month prior to the new RAs taking office. In the event of a server outage which prevents citizens from casting ballots and which lasts more than 12 hours, the Dean of the SC has the authority to adjust or extend the election schedule.
* Dates recently changed by RA, and these take effect after the next general election. The first RA elections where candidates are not required to be a member of any faction will be for the term starting June 1, 2010.

Section 3 - The Leader of the Representative Assembly
The Leader of the RA (“LRA”) is elected by the members of the RA at the first meeting after every semi-anuual general election, and at any other time when the office is vacant. The Representative Assembly may elect one of its members to serve as Leader pro tempore who may act as Leader in the event of the absence of the Leader or if the position of Leader is vacant.

Section 4 - Proceedings
The RA will convene at least once per month. The RA may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior and with the concurrence of two-thirds expel a disruptive member from a session.

Section 5 - Journal
The RA shall keep and publish a journal of its proceedings. The individual votes of RA members shall be entered in the journal. Parts of the journal that are deemed secret by a 2/3 majority and with concurrence of the Philosophic branch will not be published. Secret journal entries may only be deemed secret if they prevent the exploitation of the city and citizens from external threats. All secret journal entries will have an expiration date at which time they will be voted upon again by the RA and verified as constitutional by the Philosophic branch.

Section 6 - Legislative Process and Veto
A vote in the RA is a simple majority vote of representative seats. Constitutional amendments require a 2/3 vote.
Final ratification of law is performed by the Philosophic branch, which can veto a bill or resubmit a modified bill for vote, if it conflicts with the Constitution. The Scientific Council may veto a revenue bill or resubmit a modified revenue bill for vote.

Section 7 - Powers of the RA
In regards to the Philosophic branch:
The RA provides a vote of confidence on candidates to the Philosophic branch. This vote is in regards to their perceived likelihood to uphold the constitution.
The RA can amend the constitution with a 2/3 vote.
The RA can seek impeachment of members of the Philosophic branch by initiating an impeachment hearing.

Section 8 - Limits on the RA
No member of the RA may engage in what might be considered a conflict of interest such as accepting money or favors from individuals or special-interest groups.
All changes to the rate of compensation for the RA, SC, Chancellor or Guildmaster shall take effect at the start of the term of the Assembly subsequent to the term in which the determination is made.

Article II - The Executive
Section 1 - The Chancellor
The Chancellor will serve as the executive of CDS, working to coordinate and plan community projects.

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;
(b) to expend monies held by the Office of the Chancellor of CDS for the administration and management of public facilities (including, but not limited to, roadways, signage, public buildings, public events and similar), and to discharge any other duties or powers of the Office of the Chancellor conferred by this Act or any other Act of the Representative Assembly;
(c) to publicise CDS;
(d) to appoint and pay deputies or other staff to hold office in the Office of the Chancellor of CDS to facilitate the discharge of any function of the Office of the Chancellor conferred by this Act or any other Act of the Representative Assembly;
(e) subject to the payment of adequate compensation to any citizen or citizens thereby affected, reclaim or swap any land held by any citizen of CDS for the purposes of discharging any function of the Office of the Chancellor conferred by this Act or any other Act of the Representative Assembly, provided always that no citizen of CDS shall not be caused to have no holding in Neufriestadt at all thereby;
(f) to make regulations pursuant to the above; and
(g) to enforce such regulations in accordance with law.

Section 3 - Public Oversight
The Chancellor must provide for regular and active citizen participation and public review of any decision concerning land use or the aesthetic or functional environment.

Section 4 - Themes
Nothing in this Act shall give the Chancellor of CDS any power to change the overall theme of Neufriestadt or any other sim or administered component of the CDS.

Section 5 - Chancellor Selection Process
The Chancellor of the CDS shall be selected by the Representative Assembly from among any CDS citizen who shall make application to the RA.
The application period shall begin when the membership of a new RA is named and end the first day of the new RA term. This provision shall come into force with the next RA election following passage and ratification of this amendment. (ed. note: the Seventh RA)
The chancellor will serve a term ending with the election of the next chancellor by the incoming RA.
The Chancellor may not be elected to or serve on the Representative Assembly, nor serve on the Scientific Council. The Chancellor may hold a position in the Artisanal Collective but may not vote therein.

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.

Section 7 - Removal from Office
The Chancellor may be removed from office prior to the expiration of the term of office by at least a two thirds vote of the Representative Assembly.

Section 8 - RA Oversight
Each month the Chancellor shall attend a meeting of the Representative Assembly, and fully and truthfully answer there any questions posed by any citizen about any aspect of the affairs of the CDS or of the Office of the Chancellor. The Chancellor will also attend upon three days notice at the written request from any member of the Representative Assembly.

Section 9 - AC Overlap
Any power or responsibility assigned to the Artisan's Collective by the constitution and precedent that overlaps those provided to the Chancellor in this amendment will be assigned to the Chancellor.

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.

Section 2 - The Scientific Council Body
The SC is comprised of Professors, Chairs, and a single SC Dean. Professors are chosen at the recommendation of current members based on demonstrated skill and desire to uphold the constitution without bias. Chairs are nominated by the Dean and approved by a simple majority vote. There are a maximum of nine Chairs available, with the Dean receiving one. Members of the SC can be voted out with a 2/3 majority.

Section 3 - The Scientific Council Leader
The Dean is elected by a simple majority vote of all members.

Section 4 - Proceedings
The SC will convene at least once per month. The SC may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior and with the concurrence of two-thirds expel a member from a session.

Section 5 - Journal
The SC shall keep and publish a journal of its proceedings. All individual votes of the members of the SC on any question shall always be entered in the journal, along with a statement regarding their personal philosophy on a given vote.

Section 6 - Ratification of bills passed by the Representative Assembly
Chairs of the SC will ratify bills passed by the Representative Assembly by simple majority vote and may resubmit the bill with modifications for vote.
The SC shall act as the Court of Common Jurisdiction, with the Dean of the SC appointing Chairs of the SC to hear specific trials, under the Code of Procedure previously passed by the RA, with any appeals heard by the full SC.

Section 7 - Hearings and Trials
Hearings and trials not involving government officials will be overseen by a single Professor. All impeachment hearings will be performed in the Philosophic branch by the Chairs without a jury. If a Chair is accused, that Chair will be excused for the duration of the hearing. A member of the branch which is not calling for the impeachment hearing will serve as Leader of the Philosophic branch during the hearing.

Section 8 - Powers of the SC
In regards to the Representative branch:
The Philosophic branch may veto or rewrite and resubmit a bill or constitutional amendment if it is in violation of any of the founding documents.
The SC can seek impeachment of members of the Representative branch for violating the constitution or acting illegally.
Impeachment proceedings
1. Impeachment is an order that a holder of public office cease to hold such public office, or is suspended from such office for any time with or without pay, and/or is disqualified either permanently or for a term certain from holding any or all public office or offices.
2. A person may only be impeached by the Scientific Council, sitting as a court, following a trial in accordance with law.
3. Only persons (or persons acting on behalf of bodies) specified in the text of the Constitution shall have the power to commence impeachment proceedings.
4. Subject to Article VI, Sections 2 and 7 of this Constitution, nothing in this Constitution shall prevent a Court of Common Jurisdiction from banishing any person, even where that person is a holder of public office in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, and banishment would preclude that person from continuing to hold such public office.
5. When a member of the Scientific Council brings impeachment proceedings, that person shall not sit as a judge of the Court of Scientific Council hearing those proceedings at any stage thereof.

Section 9 - Limitations of the SC
Any member can be voted out with a 2/3 majority.

Article IV - Factions
Section 1 - Requirements
Citizens, including RA members and candidates, may choose to organize and identify themselves with a specific CDS political faction. All factions must provide platforms which state their general philosophy and list of goals for the current and next term. Factions exist to promote the discussion of issues. Faction platforms cannot violate or seek to violate the Constitution. Constitutional amendments may be advocated.

Section 2 - The Faction Body
All faction members must be citizens of CDS, and their membership in the faction must be evidenced by joining a special Second Life group created for that purpose . No citizen is required to be part of a faction. No citizen can be a member of more than one faction at the same time. A faction who meets these requirements and notifies the Dean of the SC will be granted its own designated Forum, or similar official discussion area for posting comments, in the CDS official website for community and government communications.

Section 3 - The Faction Leader
Factions are lead by the faction leader (SL group officer) who vouches for all members in public proceedings and is responsible for their proper ethical conduct. Faction leaders are selected by the members of a faction and notified to the Dean of the SC.

Section 4 - Campaigning
Campaigning for election in CDS can be done in-world only by means of unscripted items or simple notecard givers that are placed in traditional, predetermined central CDS locations, or by discourse between two avatars directly. No spamming of any kind is allowed, including the dropping of items on avatars without permission, sending messages by Second Life group IM (other than one's own faction group), or by shouting messages to large groups. Only two emails are allowed in a given election by any faction or representative of a faction.

Article V - Election, Term, and Office
Section 1 - Voting Frequency
Officials in the Government are elected for a period of time according to the general principles of democratic rotativity to ensure proper representativity in a changing society, whose duration will be fixed by the RA by passing appropriate laws. Elections for branches are staggered equally throughout the term.

Section 2 - Exclusivity
Citizens may not serve simultaneously in the Representative and Philosophic branch.

Section 3
No citizen shall be eligible to vote in any election for public office in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators unless he or she has been a citizen for not less than 28 consecutive days immediately before any such election.

Article VI - Citizenship
1. A citizen of the Confederation of Democratic Simulators is a resident of SecondLife who has been granted title to any land by the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, and who holds title under the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, for as long as he or she holds such title.
2. Without prejudice to any rule of law entitling any institution of government to substitute, or empower another person or body to substitute any land held by any citizen for any other land the holding of which would continue to entitle the person whose land has been substituted to be a citizen of the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, no citizen shall be deprived of citizenship in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, nor shall any person, whether a citizen or not, be banished from any public land in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, without trial in accordance with law, or consent not to be so tried.
3. Section 2 above is subject to any rule of law whereby a person is deemed to have consented not to be tried by having failed within reasonable time to respond or respond fully to any notice sent to that person in respect of any such prospective trial, nor any rule that specifies what shall constitute a reasonable time.
4. Section 2 above shall be without prejudice to any rule of law whereby a person may summarily be banished by any citizen of the Confederation of Democratic Simulators appointed for such a purpose by any duly ratified Act of the Representative Assembly (or by any person or body deriving her his or its power to do so from any such Act), for up to fourteen consecutive days (but without revocation of citizenship or forfeiture of any asset).
5. Section 2 above shall be without prejudice to any rule of law whereby a person may be banished temporarily by Order of a Court of Common Jurisdiction pending such a trial as is mentioned therein (but without revocation of citizenship or forfeiture of any asset).
6. Any citizen may cease to become a citizen by submitting a notice in a form that may be prescribed by any duly ratified Act of the Representative Assembly (or, if no such form is specified, by notifying the Chancellor in writing) seven days in advance of the date on which that person is to cease to be a citizen.

Article VII - The Judiciary (repealed)
(Ed. note: Amendment 19 repealed Article VII.)

Ed. note: To be in effect, this Constitution awaits the results of 7-day-votes from RA members not present at the Jan 10, 2010 meeting (including the ones that did not explicitly requested a 7-day-vote, as exceptionally approved by the RA on that meeting) as well as the subsequent ratification by the Scientific Council.

"I'm not building a game. I'm building a new country."
  -- Philip "Linden" Rosedale, interview to Wired, 2004-05-08

PGP Fingerprint: CE8A 6006 B611 850F 1275 72BA D93E AA3D C4B3 E1CB

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