Candidacy for the RA

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Arria Perreault
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Candidacy for the RA

Post by Arria Perreault »

Mrs Dean of the Scientific Council,

I deeply regret that the results of the citizen census are not yet published. It is not possible to know which faction can run and how many seats are to fill in the Representative Assembly.
I nevertheless announce officially my candidacy for the Representative Assembly as member of the CSDF faction to respect the current election calender.

Arria Perreault

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Re: Candidacy for the RA

Post by Pip Torok »

Dear Friends,

Like Arria, I am announcing my candidacy for the RA in the coming elections.

Unlike Arria, I stand as a member of the DPU, the Democratic Pragmatist Union.

Like Arria, I wish everyone a peaceful and happy Holiday Season, or rather that they are having one at this very moment, 13.26GMT Sunday the 27th December, 2009.

And finally, I wish everyone a decade of greater potential for good than the one we are now taking our leave of ....

Pip Torok

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Re: Candidacy for the RA

Post by Rose Springvale »

The strength and sometimes weakness of a democracy is that no one person has all the information about all things at any time, and the weakness, and perhaps strength of a virtual democracy is that in addition to our second lives, we also have first lives, including human bodies that sometimes fail us.

I agree with Aliasi that we've had all term to resolve some of these issues, so look forward to the SC meeting. I hope that the SC follows the lead the Chancellor's office has set this term by giving adequate and well publicized notice of its meetings so that interested parties can attend. Posting on these forums is not, imho, adequate notices, particulary since many times posts don't show up, despite clicking the notification boxes, for days after they are posted. Again, my opinion, but the in world Blue Group Notice system should always be used for official meetings. And please send a notice with time enough for people to adapt those pesky real lives.

I don't have all the information necessary to give you all what you want in the way of census. I know the rough figure is 122 avatars. i don't know the status of payment on those avatars, but it seems that each faction would need 13 members to have a viable faction under the rules as they exist today. Things that can be adopted to change that:
1. Elimination of factions as the sole source of candidacy
2. Eliminating the 10% rule.
3. Eliminating the Group rules for citizenship.

All three of these measures are controversial and deserve full discussion. I have not been able to find anything in the constitution that addresses an election where no faction qualifies, and therefore cannot put forth candidates. If someone else has, i'd appreciate the citation.

Hope to see some of you at the Snowflake Ball this afternoon, where our own Joaquin will play in the Schloss.
Happy New Year to you all!
Rose

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Re: Candidacy for the RA

Post by Jimmie McMahn »

Fellow Citizens,

I am announcing my candidacy for the RA as well. I am running as a member of the DPU.

Happy New year!

Your Friend,

Jimmie McMahn

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Re: Candidacy for the RA

Post by Gwyneth Llewelyn »

Just to let our fellow citizens know that I've also sent my willingness to run as candidate for the Representative Assembly; even though I pretty much believe that the CSDF doesn't have enough members to be a valid faction at the next elections, that's the faction I'm running with.

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Re: Candidacy for the RA

Post by Arria Perreault »

Rose Springvale wrote:

1. Elimination of factions as the sole source of candidacy
2. Eliminating the 10% rule.
3. Eliminating the Group rules for citizenship.

I agree with these suggestions. I would like to add one. The number of seats of the RA should be reduced. This 10% rule should be also eliminated. We could define different steps (for example: 50-70: 5 members; 71-100: 7 members; 101-n: 9 members). The discussions are not easy with so many people.

I would also appreciate that the datas concerning the AA sims are added to the C.D.S. Citizen List and to the C.D.S. Master Parcel List. Both links are available on the CDS Portal. They are quickly updated. I deeply regret the former page where every parcel was listed with its owner. It was a very good tool for land management as well as for census. I have tried to add the names of the payment boxes of AA and the names of the list of Sudane. With this method, I have found less than 100 avatars (93 in november, 96 now). Maybe some people were counted twice because they have parcels on several sims. An other census method would be to see every parcel. I hope that the SC will find an easier way ;-).

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Re: Candidacy for the RA

Post by Gwyneth Llewelyn »

I definitely agree with both Rose and Arria on this. We always said that a meeting over 10 people would be impossible :) There is an old rule that says that a productive meeting should only have 7 ± 2 people — less than that, and it is never representative; more than that, and it will never conclude anything :)

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Re: Candidacy for the RA

Post by Rose Springvale »

I believe our constitution actually calls for up to 40 members of the RA. I wasn't around when that was drafted, but surely this was considered. With the reluctance of the community to tamper with the constitution, let's not be too hasty!

Tier boxes in AA use an entirely different system than the old CDS. Counting the tier boxes does not give you the complete census. I'm sorry you "regret" the old system, as it is my understanding that we are moving farther away from that. AA sims are non profit sims, and many people have prepaid their tier for the entire six month period. It has nothing to do with "duplications" and i assure you that the list that was turned in accounted for all such issues.

The portal is totally inaccessible. I'm sorry, but it's terrible. A few people may be able to use it (i've never been given access) but there have been no updates other than what Sudane has done on the original CDS parcels for six months. The only reference to the six Al Andalus sims comes in forum posts.

The thing that concerns me most is that there will not be adequate representation for ALL the people now governed by the RA of CDS. That, however, is really what the faction system insures. While one faction may "qualify" ... with 16 citizens, and the others just pushing up against a 12 citizen minimum, that means only 40 people have chosen factions. If we have 120 citizens, that is ONE THIRD of our population who are unfactioned. Yet that third will divide up the RA seats among the same dozen people who've become entrenched in the RA. No offense to those of you who have served for many terms, but can you really say this is a representative democracy?

Let's get rid of the faction requirement altogether and move forward. Open the elections to all the people who might want to serve, but can't agree with the "philosophy" of a faction.

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Re: Candidacy for the RA

Post by Sudane Erato »

Arria Perreault wrote:

I would also appreciate that the datas concerning the AA sims are added to the C.D.S. Citizen List and to the C.D.S. Master Parcel List. Both links are available on the CDS Portal. They are quickly updated.

Despite the fact that the text on the "Treasurer's Page" of the CDS website portal says:

"C.D.S. Citizen List - This page is a current list of all citizens in the C.D.S. " ( http://portal.slcds.info/index.php?id=224 )

this is not, strictly speaking correct. This is a list of all persons who pay tier for land in the 5 original CDS sims, including people who are behind in their payments. I've made this point over and over again... I, as Treasurer, am *not* qualified to determine who is a citizen and who is not a citizen. I can only provide the community with a list of people who pay tier.

This is a critical distinction, and indeed the reason why Aliasi has encountered difficulty in determining the exact number of CDS citizens. The relevant laws, NL 5-9 ( http://portal.slcds.info/index.php?id=185 ) and NL 7-7 ( http://portal.slcds.info/index.php?id=209 ), can be applied more or less readily to the land tier payment system in use in the 5 original sims... but I might add that even here there is ambiguity regarding what level of arrears disqualifies a person from citizenship.

But... for *very* valid and important reasons, Jamie and Rose have proposed migration to a new system of tier collection, a system which is far more advanced and flexible than our system currently in use in the 5 sims. That new system has always been used in the AA sims, and I believe that the possibility of its superiority is a very important reason not to scrap it. If indeed this new system enables us better to grow and provide ease and flexibility to the citizens who use it, I believe it's the imperative of the responsible executive to consider it.

But... this does mean that the existing laws defining citizenship will need to be adopted to the new tier payment system, and indeed, for the time being, function with both payment systems. The issue of the definition of citizenship has been with us since the foundation of the CDS, and the existing two laws are somewhat a "simplified" way out of irreconcilable problems in defining it. Inevitably, it will have to be better and more fairly defined. The merging of the original CDS sims with the AA sims has simply forced the issue.

I think that Aliasi deserves our wholehearted and 100% support as she seeks to find a fair and reasonable way through this very valid and complicated situation.

If anyone has any questions about this situation that they feel I might help answer, I urge you to contact me, either by IM or email to [email protected].

Sudane....................................

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Re: Candidacy for the RA

Post by Aliasi Stonebender »

Rose Springvale wrote:

I agree with Aliasi that we've had all term to resolve some of these issues, so look forward to the SC meeting. I hope that the SC follows the lead the Chancellor's office has set this term by giving adequate and well publicized notice of its meetings so that interested parties can attend. Posting on these forums is not, imho, adequate notices, particulary since many times posts don't show up, despite clicking the notification boxes, for days after they are posted. Again, my opinion, but the in world Blue Group Notice system should always be used for official meetings. And please send a notice with time enough for people to adapt those pesky real lives.

While we will try, the holiday makes things difficult for us all if we're to be timely. As for not showing up - I've never had a problem with simply clicking the 'view new posts' button whenever I visit; we don't have such a volume here that it's THAT difficult. That's not to say using the notice system is bad, and I certainly intend to.

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Re: Candidacy for the RA

Post by Cindy Ecksol »

I agree with Aliasi that it is not very difficult to check these boards for current postings. There's only one problem: right now the boards are not working properly so when I click "View new posts" or even "View active topics" I see nothing at all listed. Yes, I am logged in -- that's not it. Would be interested to hear if anyone else is having this problem.

I'll also comment that the deadline for announcing RA candidacy was December 25. The way I read the calendar and the announcements, no factions had been certified by the deadline and only Arria announced her candidacy before the deadline. I'll be interested to hear how we're going to deal with that. Will a new deadline be established after SC has certified factions? Will we have only a single candidate whose faction may not certify under the current rules? Will candidates who announced after the deadline but whose factions meet the certification rules be given a waiver and included on the ballot? Will the election dates be moved? Many questions here, and I'm not sure what the best way is to handle them. Hopefully SC will give us a complete resolution.

Philosophically speaking, I'll just comment that we are currently getting a taste of what it might be like if the faction system were abolished as the RA is currently debating. (Well, we were SUPPOSED to be debating it, but at the last meeting we decided that it would be unfair to the proponents of the proposal to do so when they were not present. Hopefully we'll do better at the meeting coming up on Sunday.) What I'm musing about is the fact that under a system where factions qualify to stand for election and hold the seats, it doesn't really matter whether enough individuals get their acts together to announce candidacy by the deadline as long as at least one does so for each qualified faction. Having one candidate on the ballot means that citizens can vote for that faction, and the faction can fill any additional seats after the election. Not ideal, but it does address the uniquely Second Life fact that CDS is our "second life" not our "real life" and that avatar operators often get pulled away from CDS business by RL situations. In a system where everyone runs as an individual each individual takes on more responsibility to meet deadlines, show up at meetings, etc., and they represent only themselves. That's not a bad thing, and in many ways it's the essence of the democratic process. Of course that also means each individual runs AS an individual...and if they drop out, there is no simple way to replace them. Participation in a democratic system takes time and energy, and the more "democratic" it is, the more time and energy must be taken by both candidates and citizens to present and understand the issues and support the institutions. That's the balance we need to find in CDS: a system that is satisfactorily "democratic" but that doesn't degenerate into "every av for itself" in terms of power over others, ability to speak and be heard, and responsibility for keeping up with community issues.

This is really just a snapshot of some of the issues involved in the constitutional change first proposed by Jamie and introduced to the RA by Carolyn. There are many more "pros" and "cons" that can and should be debated, so I hope you'll all turn out for the meeting Sunday at 9AM. It's the last meeting of the term too, unless SC reschedules elections...

Cindy

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Re: Candidacy for the RA

Post by Rose Springvale »

While we will try, the holiday makes things difficult for us all if we're to be timely. As for not showing up - I've never had a problem with simply clicking the 'view new posts' button whenever I visit; we don't have such a volume here that it's THAT difficult. That's not to say using the notice system is bad, and I certainly intend to.

What i'm saying is that the posts show up, but not in a timely manner. ESPECIALLY SC posts for some reason. For a while, i actually thought people were backdating posts. I'm not a computer programmer, but i do know how to check boards for recent entries, and what I'm saying is that they don't always show up when they say they do. I don't know why.

My personal opinion is that no election dates are set until the SC says they are. Even though Cindy did rough figures for the dates when the RA was talking about adjusting them, i don't believe that serves as adequate constitutional notice to our citizens. Given the lack of communication and the holidays, a new deadline should be set for certification of citizens, certification of factions, declaration of candidacy AND the election. I dont' think it's fair to anyone to say the old dates are the ones we are using, especially as this is the first election the Al Andalus Citizens are voting in. There is a lot of confusion. I'll take the blame for dropping the ball on communication if that is needed, but point out that we dont' really have an active PIO right now. I've passed on all the information notecards i've done to Aliasi, and am willing to assist with faction information sessions if necessary. I don't think it comes as a surprise to anyone that i would rather see us eliminate the faction requirement, but as i've said before, i'm happy to help in any way that lets CDS function appropriately.

I very much disagree with Cindy's position. People can easily band together on issues and candidates without agreeing on everything. Representative government is never each man for himself, but our faction system assures that most people get no representation. I felt that way before joining a faction, and feel it more strongly after having participated in one. I think direct democracy gives everyone in the community a voice, not just the people who know how to work the system through factional organization.

That said, there is no reason factions can't continue to exist, so long as it is not a mandatory path to service in the RA.

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Re: Candidacy for the RA

Post by Arria Perreault »

Before the meeting of the SC the 2nd January and the RA the 3rd January, I would like to give my opinion and my expectations about the current issue concerning the election calendar.

CDS has defined the citizen in the Constitution. I expect that the SC takes the citizen definition stricto sensu to validate the census. A CDS citizen must own a parcel, even a small one. This suppose that at least one parcel in one of the CDS sims have his name as owner. This is easy to control. It could be that the definition of citizen evolves in the future, but it is so now. Any change of this definition must be done in a legislative process. Used tools to manage land are secondary. In any case, a list of current citizen (=parcels owner) should be available. The validation process should only concerns the payment status.

The election calendar has set a delay between the validation of the citizen census and the determination of the eligilibity of factions. This delay is important to give to factions some time to set their strategy (get new members and decide how candidates have to be found). I request the SC to maintain this delay of 13 days.

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Re: Candidacy for the RA

Post by Rose Springvale »

That's not true Arria. The group rules allow anyone in a group who has ever owned land in CDS to maintain citizen status. In the old CDS sims, tier boxes are set up for people who simply pay 100 L toward the tier of some land. I have people in my group who no longer own land in CDS, but did at the time they joined the group. Because they continue to pay their 100 L, they are considered Citizens.

AA has never had a system that required additional tier boxes. in fact, in AA, anyone can pay tier for anyone else by virtue of paying the boxes. Our citizenship definition never required land ownership until the merger, so when we merged, we certified which members of the group were landowners in fact, and that list had been provided to the Chancellor and the SC.

I agree that this is crazy. But it is the law in CDS that group members can vote. Our tier paying system is broken and not up to the standards of most second life communities. Rather than saddling the AA residents, used to a more advanced system, with the CDS system, we have been working toward bringing the CDS system over to the Hippo system used in AA. However, we've not had the support of the community on even the smallest changes. Our time gets swallowed up by these other issues, and issues such as changing over the tier system, which takes a lot of time, have been put on hold.

Until CDS changes its group citizen law, the AA groups must also be recognized. I don't have time to go through each group and add nominal tier boxes to make the AA group match the CDS group. You will just have to believe me.

AA brought valuable assets and active citizens to CDS that have never been acknowledged by our balance sheet or frankly our community. Now you want to disenfranchise the voters?

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Re: Candidacy for the RA

Post by Arria Perreault »

Well ... I don't want to make a confusion between a payment system and the definition of the CDS citizen. I think that the next RA will have to work on the definition of the citizen to make it clear. The system payment must correspond to the definition of the citizen (not the reverse) and must be installed by the Executive Team.
I think that we need some transparency. If no one knows how much we are at any time, how it is possible to work, especially in politics ? I know that some informations are subject to data protection. Such data as the total number of CDS citizen (every 3 months), the total number of parcels with size, prime and tier price seem to me a minimum for a democratic state as CDS. The production of these datas should be organized (a task for the SC, I think).

I suggest that the RA organises a working group to think about the definition of the citizenship.

(The 100 L$ rule seems to me crazy ... )

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