Wittenberg

The Ziu => The Hopper => Topic started by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 16, 2020, 01:39:01 AM

Title: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 16, 2020, 01:39:01 AM
BE IT ENACTED by the King, Cosă and Senäts of Talossa in Ziu assembled as followed, under the authority of Organic Law VII.13:

1. During the same month as the 3rd Clark of the 55th Cosa, the Chancery shall submit the following referendum question to the people:

What is your preference for Talossa's constitutional future?

2. This referendum shall be conducted as a Ranked Choice vote between the following four options:

- the King of Talossa shall continue to have the political powers granted by the current Organic Law.
- the King of Talossa shall have no political powers except in cases of emergency or constitutional crisis.
- the king of Talossa shall share power with a periodically elected Co-prince.
- the King of Talossa shall be replaced by an elected Head of State.

3. The votes for this referendum shall be counted as follows:

   3.1. At the conclusion of the election, each option is assigned all ballots which express it as first preference. The option with the fewest ballots assigned to it is eliminated. Each ballot cast for the eliminated option is reassigned to the next expressed preference on the ballot.

    3.2 Once the ballots are reassigned, the option with the fewest ballots assigned to it is eliminated and the ballots cast for it reassigned as above. This process is repeated until one option wins by having a majority of non-abstention ballots assigned to it.

    3.3. If, after any iteration, there are two or more options with the fewest ballots assigned to them, the option with the fewest first preferences assigned to it shall be eliminated. If these options all have the same number of first preferences assigned to them, the option with the fewest second preferences assigned to it shall be eliminated, and so forth.

        3.3.1 If no such distinction can be made between these options because all have the same number of votes on every level of preference, the remaining iterations shall be conducted under multiple scenarios. Each scenario shall eliminate one of the tied options.

            3.3.1.1 If the different scenarios described above result in the same winner of the election overall, the winning option shall be declared successful.

            3.3.1.2 If the different scenarios described above result in different winners of the election overall, the result will be considered a tie between the two or three leading options.

    3.4. If any ballot assigned to an eliminated option does not express a next preference, the ballot is treated in the same way as an abstention.

    3.5 A option may not be assigned ballots after it has been eliminated. A ballot that would otherwise be reassigned to an eliminated option is instead assigned to the highest-ranked option that has not been eliminated, or treated as an abstention as above.

4. If an option involving a change in the Organic Law wins this referendum, the Government shall introduce an Organic Law amendment to that effect within the lifetime of the 55th Cosă.

(counting rules cut and pasted mutatis mutandis from El Lexhatx B.14)
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu on June 16, 2020, 05:40:18 PM
In the case of the poll going to the King keeping his current powers, does that really need to go to a referendum?  It's essentially asking "Should we keep what we currently have?"  And what would it mean if that referendum were to be defeated?! 

And, pursuant to that, I guess... what's to stop the Govt. from simply doing that anyway?
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on June 16, 2020, 06:13:17 PM
There was a special midterm referendum on the monarchy just a few years ago, with 71% of respondents saying they wanted to keep the monarchy and 60% saying they didn't want it to be a figurehead.  I guess this question will be asked over and over in different ways until it produces the answer that is desired.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 16, 2020, 06:27:19 PM
In the case of the poll going to the King keeping his current powers, does that really need to go to a referendum?

Of course not.

Quote
If an option involving a change in the Organic Law wins this referendum,
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 16, 2020, 06:36:19 PM
There was a special midterm referendum on the monarchy just a few years ago, with 71% of respondents saying they wanted to keep the monarchy and 60% saying they didn't want it to be a figurehead.  I guess this question will be asked over and over in different ways until it produces the answer that is desired.

Of course, that's precisely our strategy; eventually the people will vote for a New Republic just to shut us up.

All silliness aside, the referendum of July 2017 was before the Proclamation Crisis and the various shenanigans around the abortive Florencia-Fiova merger, which (anecdotally) shifted a lot of opinion on this front. Nevertheless, we're not happy to just shove fundamental reforms through the next Ziu, in which I confidentally predict we'll have a veto-proof majority to do so; we think it would be more democratic to seek a popular mandate on fundamental reforms before pushing them through the Ziu and over royal veto.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on June 16, 2020, 08:22:48 PM
I don't really foresee a lot of trouble for your bills, don't worry.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on June 16, 2020, 08:28:55 PM
There was a special midterm referendum on the monarchy just a few years ago, with 71% of respondents saying they wanted to keep the monarchy and 60% saying they didn't want it to be a figurehead.  I guess this question will be asked over and over in different ways until it produces the answer that is desired.

Of course, that's precisely our strategy; eventually the people will vote for a New Republic just to shut us up.

All silliness aside, the referendum of July 2017 was before the Proclamation Crisis and the various shenanigans around the abortive Florencia-Fiova merger, which (anecdotally) shifted a lot of opinion on this front. Nevertheless, we're not happy to just shove fundamental reforms through the next Ziu, in which I confidentally predict we'll have a veto-proof majority to do so; we think it would be more democratic to seek a popular mandate on fundamental reforms before pushing them through the Ziu and over royal veto.
The FF merger aside, the Proclamation Crisis occurred in 2015.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 16, 2020, 08:41:23 PM
Miéida sant, time flies when you're having fun  ???
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Béneditsch Ardpresteir on June 17, 2020, 08:52:41 AM
With a referendum of 3 choices, the present government composed of many republicans actually want to turn this country into a Republic by hook or by crook.  Even with a minority vote in its favour, there are high chances that they may succeed in the second round.

Well played, Miestra ! Definitely a move that you'll win if the citizens fail to see through you.   
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on June 17, 2020, 02:43:09 PM
With a referendum of 3 choices, the present government composed of many republicans actually want to turn this country into a Republic by hook or by crook.  Even with a minority vote in its favour, there are high chances that they may succeed in the second round.

Well played, Miestra ! Definitely a move that you'll win if the citizens fail to see through you.   

This comment seems not to understand that this would not be binding: any actual amendment would require a majority in favor.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 17, 2020, 05:24:03 PM
The Senator from Maricopa also does not seem to understand that, in a ranked-choice (IRV/PV) election, there isn't a "second round".

Of course, many true sentences can be made of the form: "The Senator from Maricopa also does not seem to understand that..."
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu on June 17, 2020, 05:36:17 PM
I guess this question will be asked over and over in different ways until it produces the answer that is desired.

The real question is whether or not folks will still turn out to defend the monarchy.  There's little to worry about if it remains an unmitigated good, no?
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 17, 2020, 05:48:54 PM
The good thing is that as long as the monarchist Usual Subjects are being outraged by the referendum, they'll have less energy to get outraged about the subsequent constitutional amendment, if any.

If the 2017 figure of 61% for status-quo re: monarchical power stands, then monarchists only need to worry about... oh, I don't know, the monarchist electorate sulking in their tent like Achilles, refusing to participate in Talossa in protest that the "Wrong Sort of People" now hold political power. But that would be a fantasy, surely.

Sadly, if the Florencia-Fiova referendum is any guide, said monarchists will rouse themselves from their torpor JUST long enough to vote for the status quo, then go back to doing nothing, and blaming their disinterest on the dastardly ex-Republicans.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Eðo Grischun on June 17, 2020, 05:52:19 PM
There was a special midterm referendum on the monarchy just a few years ago, with 71% of respondents saying they wanted to keep the monarchy and 60% saying they didn't want it to be a figurehead.  I guess this question will be asked over and over in different ways until it produces the answer that is desired.

Almost as if in a democratic society people can change their opinions over time.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 17, 2020, 06:59:21 PM
I don't really foresee a lot of trouble for your bills, don't worry.

(https://cdn.boldomatic.com/content/post/wcJWLw/From-your-mouth-to-God-s-ears?size=400)
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on June 17, 2020, 08:04:37 PM
Maybe making Talossa a republic will be the thing that fixes the drastic and continuous decline in activity and voter turnout.  That would be a good thing.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 17, 2020, 08:35:43 PM
the drastic and continuous decline in activity and voter turnout

You keep saying this, but I've never heard you actually say what you think is causing it. Only innuendo, and only repeated sarcastic comments that whatever the Government does won't help. Certainly the government of the 50th Cosa - micromanaged behind the scenes by your good self - didn't seem to help.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on June 17, 2020, 09:22:49 PM
I am sorry, but you are the elected leader of Talossa.  It's a position you avidly sought to obtain and to retain.  You are responsible for governing the country.  I am just a citizen observing we have serious problems.  I certainly have ideas about what's causing these problems, but I'm not going to start offering policy solutions and advocating for their adoption -- I got out of politics a while ago, and I am much happier for it.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on June 17, 2020, 10:28:16 PM
Sorry, was just thinking about this, and that's unfair -- "I know but I won't tell you."  Dumb of me.  In brief and off the top of my head:

it was a mistake to ban newbies from the Cosa, since jumping right into the Cosa is very fun;

the way that organized parties and the government avoid embarrassment by reaching private consensus before taking action is very professional but very opaque, getting in the way of one of the fun things about Talossa -- the ability to see and participate in parts of a society that are normally out of your reach;

monarchies are interesting because strong monarchies are really rare in almost every country from which Talossans immigrate, and here we even get to personally interact with the monarch, but instead we keep shifting more and more to versions of the same forms of government most people already live under, and that's boring;

a lot of people in charge don't prioritize the major problems (inactivity, voter decline, lack of political diversity) as highly as the changes they personally wish to make to the country regarding their specific hobby-horses;

a lot of the silly fluff that was fun, like the RUMP parade, was really easy to mock, and so now it's gone;

any new potential political groups would need to endure some cruelty, and it's just not worth it;

a lot of schemes for encouraging activity have been dumb because they relied on the assumption that restricting people from doing some fun stuff would force them to do less fun stuff, but in reality people just skipped the whole thing.

There's probably more, but that's all I have off the top.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 17, 2020, 11:25:34 PM
Thanks for this. I don't agree with this programme, but it is at least a programme, and I wonder what others think before I throw in my bence.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu on June 18, 2020, 07:36:06 AM
In chewing this over, it's taking me some time to step back and ask the question "Why Talossa?"  As in, if there's anyone who has a reason to not be here, it's me.  And yet here I am.  Endured some withering (and deserved, don't get me wrong) abuse, but here I am and here I shall remain.

There's something exciting about being a part of something that had legs enough to walk away from its creator.  That's eally something, and there's something valuable in its vision.  As opposed to trying to write some grand sweeping things, I think a list will work best.

1.)  Political diversity- There's not a lot that the government can do about this, but I agree that it is needed.  The majority of Talossan culture is a political culture, or it GROWS OUT OF POLITICAL CULTURE (see "Fluff" below).  Getting involved in a party gives you a prefabbed support group and potential early friend circle.  Some of the best early times I remember was when I joined the MRP in the Republic, that put me in contact with Deet, Andy, Ian T, Txec DM, etc.  And that was pretty huge.  I think that this is what the new citizen cohort is trying to accomplish.  But parties do this efficiently, and give a project to rally around.  I'm not sure if loosening list restrictions on the Cosa would work.  But it is worth a shot.

2.)  Fluff- We need some more of this.  But again, I'm not sure how much the government can do.  The RUMP parade was excellent, and the Peculiarists have their tinfoil hats.  I think that fluff can grow out of the party structure (along with other nonpolitical groups, Talossans in Christ Church, etc... but again, parties are probably the most common structure) effectively, if it is given the opportunity to do so.  Again, notice that our examples aren't government initiatives, but civil society ones.

3.)  Flying Mieda/Cruelty- There's still some of this.  And there always will be.  But I think we can keep a lid on it to the point that it isn't detrimental to our society.  My theory on this is probably a little fringe, so feel free to pillory later.  But I think at least some of it is a side-effect of too much derivativism.  In taking "Talossa as Serious Business," too far, we've begun to act like macronational politicians... and this has metastasized until people need to step back for their mental health.  And before fingers get pointed, I've seen plenty of nasty on all sides.  In RUMP and Republican forums.  I've been guilty of it myself, and it's one of my major regrets.  We NEED a dose of truly Classical Peculiarism.  Dan L founded Peculiarism as a way to try and get Ben to stop taking Talossa so seriously.  We may not need a specific strain of Peculiarism, but we need a bit of a shot in the arm.

4.)  Whoa-Boy, the Infrastructure- Sleek websites and forums are very nice.  But they're also a huge pain in the tuckus.  Talossa will always be beholden to its nerds to keep things running, but I often think back to the geocities era of micronationalism and wonder if there wasn't something to the "quick and dirty" method of hanging out your shingle.  From what I've gathered, maintaining this stuff has been a thankless job.  This can be extended to a lot of stuff handled by the overall civil service.  You hear from the requisite minister when you miss a deadline, but not otherwise.  Do we have too much STUFF?

5.)  Let's Talk- I honestly think we need to get to know one another better.  MPF and I used to have long talks on the phone about a project we were working on back in '05 or '06.  When storms were tearing through my  city, Txec Dal Mar called me to update me on NOAA and ask if I was alright.  I'm not sure if this is something the government can help foster, but I think a certain amount of chattiness could even cut down on the Flying Mieda.  The language and history are nice, but Talossa's real treasure is its people.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 18, 2020, 04:45:08 PM
The first thing to notice about Sir Alexandreu’s programme is that it’s a Peculiarist programme. This may well come as a shock to members of both Peculiarist parties, and indeed to Sir Alexandreu himself who, I believe, strongly identifies as a derivatist. But Peculiarism means the rejection of the concept that Talossa should seek to model itself on other, “real” countries. Sir Alexandreu singles out for criticism three reforms in the post-Reunision era which I believe to be real democratic gains:
In real countries that actually exist today, all these things are standard best practice. They are a Derivatist platform, in other words. Sir Alexandreu suggests that all three of them are bad things which have made Talossa less fun; i.e. that being “fun” should override the urge to imitate the best practice of other “real” nations. That is a pure statement of Peculiarism. We might call it Conservative Peculiarism, to distinguish it from centrist (PNP) or radical (NPW) Peculiarism, but it’s Peculiarism nonetheless. This is distinct from when this was the status quo under the RUMP – that was simply conservatism, with the considerable bonus feature that it meant it was very hard to displace a party which had a Cosa majority and good relations with the King.
So my counter-argument can be best framed as follows:
The part where Sir Alexandreu does have a point is that integrating new citizens into Talossan politics is harder if we can’t just give them seats in the legislature. I must admit that I assumed that, for example, a new citizen who wanted a Cosa seat would join a political party and aim to get on its list, or wait until the next election, start their own party and vote for themselves. For whatever reason this hasn’t happened in a while. At the recent Council of Governors, I suggested that this might be substituted by giving new citizens preferential roles in provincial government; but this idea is still to be fleshed out.
As to Sir Alexandreu’s other points:

Quote
a lot of the silly fluff that was fun, like the RUMP parade, was really easy to mock, and so now it's gone;”

First off, there’s that question of “fun” again. For those of us who chafed under 9 terms of single-party RUMP government, it certainly wasn’t “fun” watching the ruling party celebrate their own greatness all over Wittenberg. I got a lot of trouble for posting a THIS PARADE IS NOW ILLEGAL meme. The political point was of that was that RUMP parades reminded me of Orange parades in Northern Ireland; a dominant cultural/political group parading to rub the noses of their political opponents/cultural Others in their own powerlessness and exclusion.

Secondly, if I knew all I had to do to make things go away was to mock them, I would have done it much earlier. Seriously, this was always a bone of cultural contention between the 2005-11 Kingdom and the Republic. There was an incident with a photo of Sir Trotxa Betinéir and a Republican making a Monty Python joke about it, which on the Republican side was seen as good-natured trolling, and on the Kingdom side was seen as a vicious and unacceptable personal attack. It seemed to we Republicans sometimes, to use a phrase from the US culture wars, that the vaunted RUMP culture could only exist in a “safe space”. Mockery could not be allowed, nor could any sign that Republican or reformist Talossans might not respect the culture of an “ersatz aristocracy” which had sprung up in the post-KR1 Kingdom. But an even worse blow to RUMP culture seemed to be the loss of their perpetual majority in the Cosa. Rightly or wrongly, the words “sore loser” came to many minds on this subject.

Simply put, there is no reason, if the RUMP Party still exists, that the RUMP parade couldn’t happen again. As the expression of the culture of a Talossan minority, rather than a ruling party’s “in your face”, it would be a harmless expression of Peculiarity and face much less opprobrium. In a future speech to the Ziu, I intend to address the question of to what extent “Talossa’s activity crisis” is in fact a political strike, or boycott, by the conservative faction.

Talossa has always been both a “goofy pretend country” and a “political/democratic simulation” (and for a while it was a nasty personality cult, but alhamdulillah those days are now gone). In some ways what we have seen here in our own “culture wars” mirrors that split. If you prefer the goofy pretend country stuff, of course you’ll dig etiquette, “staying in character”, deference to established authority etc. If you prefer the latter side of Talossa, you’ll want everything to be up for grabs if it can be democratically and constitutionally organized for, and you’ll tolerate “robust expressions of disagreement” and even the occasional slanging match. I’m interested in finding a way for both “ways of Talossanity” to be honoured. But I simply will not agree with backpedalling on democracy because it’s less “fun” (at least, less fun for the former ruling faction).

Quote
“any new potential political groups would need to endure some cruelty, and it's just not worth it;”

We’ve dealt above with the fact that, if you’re used to living with privilege, mockery or even opposition feels like “cruelty”; but this has no bearing on reality. I have three letters for those who argue that any new party would get monstered by those in power: NPW. As I will address in my speech to the Ziu later, the problem of “a lack of political diversity” right now is a real one, but should be laid at the feed of conservatives who boycotted the election or – even worse – collected conservative votes and threw them in the trash.

But perhaps more importantly: has anyone not noticed that that there has been a lot less miéida flying around this term? And that's probably not unrelated to the lack of a strong political opposition in the Cosa (sorry ESB!). Is flying miéida a price we play for democracy which means something, rather than being a roleplaying game of sorts?

Quote
“a lot of people in charge don't prioritize the major problems (inactivity, voter decline, lack of political diversity) as highly as the changes they personally wish to make to the country regarding their specific hobby-horses; …
“a lot of schemes for encouraging activity have been dumb because they relied on the assumption that restricting people from doing some fun stuff would force them to do less fun stuff, but in reality people just skipped the whole thing.”

Here we still have the problem that “what you’re doing doesn’t help X issue” is not helpful when you yourself don’t have any idea (or have a secret plan?!?) for what would help. Sir Alexandreu’s programme has the helpful feature that it suggests some ways that we could help things – sadly, all those are rolling back post-Reunision democratic reforms, which are not going to happen unless the Free Democrats and our allies are politically defeated. Of course, this Government is quite realistic and humble about the fact that– aside from the successful setting up of SIGN and the resolution of the 13-year war over Talossan spelling – our serious cultural programme this term has fallen rather flat. That, again, is something I wish to raise in the Ziu.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 18, 2020, 05:01:19 PM
We NEED a dose of truly Classical Peculiarism.  Dan L founded Peculiarism as a way to try and get Ben to stop taking Talossa so seriously.

Let's not romanticise things too much. Sir Danihél was the "random factor" in pre-cyber Talossa; he was Flavor Flav to KR1's Chuck D. He provided opposition which kept things bubbling and acted as a troll. But it was in the sense of a dog chasing a car. A couple of times Dan caught Glorious Victorious Ben's car - i.e. won an election - and, apart from overthrowing KR2, did absolutely nothing. He was, in a real sense, irresponsible for Talossa. He could act like that because he know Ben was always there to do the real work of keeping things going. We don't have someone for whom Talossa is their first priority in life any more, so opposition has to be constructive and be ready to take over responsibility.

I should also point out that Sir Danihél told me in an old Witt PM once that he saw me as his "successor" in keeping Talossa as a political experiment healthy, so the FreeDems are clearly the real Classical Peculiarists, lol

Quote
4.)  Whoa-Boy, the Infrastructure- Sleek websites and forums are very nice.  But they're also a huge pain in the tuckus.  Talossa will always be beholden to its nerds to keep things running, but I often think back to the geocities era of micronationalism and wonder if there wasn't something to the "quick and dirty" method of hanging out your shingle.  From what I've gathered, maintaining this stuff has been a thankless job.  This can be extended to a lot of stuff handled by the overall civil service.  You hear from the requisite minister when you miss a deadline, but not otherwise.  Do we have too much STUFF?

This is a point which has come up recently, with the renunciation of L. da Schir who was our "back end webmonkey", but also came up previously, with the question of the Talossan Database and its importance to the functioning of the Kingdom. The history of Talossa has always shown that with free stuff, you get what you pay for. KR1 thought he was being smart letting MPF set up the Kingdom's web presence for free in the early 2000s... which of course was handed over to the Republic. As for Geocities... what happened to that? What happened to irreplaceable documents of micronational history which were put on a free server? If you don't value something with labour and/or money, it disappears and is lost to future generations.

My philosophy has always been that tech/admin should be "professionalised", that it should be in the hands of experts (or enthusiasts) who are accountable to the political authorities. I still think that. But it seems that we might even need to consider the question of outsourcing. I should let people know that negotiations are going on between the Minister of STUFF and my old friend who fixed the wiki issue, that she should continue to be our "on-call" tech guru. I can vouch for this person, and can assure the broad masses that we are not planning to blow out the State budget on professional fees!

So IMHO, we can have whatever we're willing to contribute volunteer labour and/or State funds too. If we don't get volunteer labour and we really want something, we need State funds, and fundraising is a question I want to examine in the next Cosa. The broader question of course is how to mobilize Talossan human resources effectively - how to get the people who can do stuff doing stuff - which is intimately tied with the question of how to get newbies actively involved. Free Democrat Ministers are currently discussing the feasibility of a "Talossan Labour Exchange" to match skills to jobs.

Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on June 18, 2020, 06:25:07 PM

4.)  Whoa-Boy, the Infrastructure- Sleek websites and forums are very nice.  But they're also a huge pain in the tuckus.  Talossa will always be beholden to its nerds to keep things running, but I often think back to the geocities era of micronationalism and wonder if there wasn't something to the "quick and dirty" method of hanging out your shingle.  From what I've gathered, maintaining this stuff has been a thankless job.  This can be extended to a lot of stuff handled by the overall civil service.  You hear from the requisite minister when you miss a deadline, but not otherwise.  Do we have too much STUFF?

I agree.  This is one reason why I think the wiki is the best platform for most of our records and the like.  It's transparent, keeps records innately, it's very easy to understand and edit, and it operates based on very widely-used software.  The database is kicking up errors and has things that just can't be fixed without its specialist designer.  It's very impressive and cool, but it's also made us wholly dependent on MPF for most things to do with it.  That's just the way it is, and it's not a problem now, but it might be in the future.  Plans should be made for a future time when the database breaks and MPF is unable to help.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 18, 2020, 06:30:24 PM
The database is kicking up errors and has things that just can't be fixed without its specialist designer.  It's very impressive and cool, but it's also made us wholly dependent on MPF for most things to do with it.  That's just the way it is, and it's not a problem now, but it might be in the future.  Plans should be made for a future time when the database breaks and MPF is unable to help.

This is correct. The problem is that I've heard conflicting things between MPF and the current SoS as to whether all the necessary functions of the database have been handed over to the properly-constituted authorities. This may, in the medium term, be another thing we might need to get an outside IT consultant to look into.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on June 18, 2020, 07:30:34 PM
The first thing to notice about Sir Alexandreu’s programme is that it’s a Peculiarist programme. This may well come as a shock to members of both Peculiarist parties, and indeed to Sir Alexandreu himself who, I believe, strongly identifies as a derivatist. But Peculiarism means the rejection of the concept that Talossa should seek to model itself on other, “real” countries.

Defined that way, sure.  But I've always identified as a derivatist because I believe that Talossa should act like a real country in a very real sense, not in the paleoderivatist sense of blindly mimicking much bigger nations.  Monaco doesn't have a real military, but rather transitioned its military into a fire/EMS service and a royal guard service, because they recognize that they're dependent on France for any real military protection.  Monaco does what makes the most sense for Monaco.

Talossa should do the same.  We shouldn't have a military except to the extent that a military serves our needs.  And all the rest of our government should be the same.  The people are not served by blindly trying to mimic much bigger countries.

To the extent that this means that I get a different label, I don't care.  But the government exists to serve the people of Talossa, not the other way around.  There are fewer Talossans and they're not as interested in the country or as happy to be here.  That's a problem, and policies that cause that problem are bad for Talossa.

I should note that in passing that one recent innovation that Sir Alexandreu seems to like – interview of Uppermost Cort Justice candidates by the Senäts – is copied directly from the United States and is thus a Derivatist initiative.

It makes sense, because it's fun and interesting.  Arguments about semantic labels seem kind of bizarrely besides the point.  Label things however you want, it won't change the voter turnout decline.

Even if we were to concede the argument of Sir Alexandreu that the three reforms mentioned above have made Talossa less fun, or less inviting for new citizens, they are democratic. Pushing back on monarchical power and restricting the Cosa to people who’ve actually won votes are democratic reforms, i.e. they increase the accessibility of political power in Talossa to people who politically disagree with the King, or with whichever happens to be the biggest political party with the most seats to give away.

The most democratic form of government is a direct democracy.  We are easily small enough to accomplish this.  We will be small enough for direct democracy for a very long time, especially at the current rate of decline.  By your logic, your post of prime minister should be abolished.  We should instead just vote on individual issues each month, opening up the Clark to everyone in the country.  That would be dramatically more democratic.  But it would be less fun, so we're not going to do that.  You just want to draw the line in a different spot between practicality and democracy.  And I'm arguing that the line should be further towards fun, because people aren't having fun and that's the whole purpose of being here.  The proof is in the numbers.

The part where Sir Alexandreu does have a point is that integrating new citizens into Talossan politics is harder if we can’t just give them seats in the legislature. I must admit that I assumed that, for example, a new citizen who wanted a Cosa seat would join a political party and aim to get on its list, or wait until the next election, start their own party and vote for themselves. For whatever reason this hasn’t happened in a while. At the recent Council of Governors, I suggested that this might be substituted by giving new citizens preferential roles in provincial government; but this idea is still to be fleshed out.

You can't force people to be interested in things that bore them.  If you try to make people wait to do the things that interest them, most people will just move on.

For those of us who chafed under 9 terms of single-party RUMP government, it certainly wasn’t “fun” watching the ruling party celebrate their own greatness all over Wittenberg. I got a lot of trouble for posting a THIS PARADE IS NOW ILLEGAL meme. The political point was of that was that RUMP parades reminded me of Orange parades in Northern Ireland; a dominant cultural/political group parading to rub the noses of their political opponents/cultural Others in their own powerlessness and exclusion.

Yes, we got the message.  You have made it clear you find "hey let's put on a pretend parade based on a theme" to be offensive because it reminds you of political oppression in a different context.  And it's pretty much impossible to argue with someone about why goofiness is fun, so people stopped.  You won, and there was no more RUMP parade.  And that was one less interesting thing to do.

You asked about some of the reasons why people aren't as interested in Talossa, and one of those reasons is that it is indeed not a "safe space" to be silly.  So folks have mostly stopped being silly.  Maybe you think that's good, but it has consequences.

In a future speech to the Ziu, I intend to address the question of to what extent “Talossa’s activity crisis” is in fact a political strike, or boycott, by the conservative faction.
I will be very curious to see that.

But I simply will not agree with backpedalling on democracy because it’s less “fun” (at least, less fun for the former ruling faction).

If you want a country that is perfectly in accord with your ideals, no matter the consequences, then you will have to endure the consequences without trying to blame others.

I have three letters for those who argue that any new party would get monstered by those in power: NPW.
Literally three sentences after this one, you admit that there's no strong political opposition.

As I will address in my speech to the Ziu later, the problem of “a lack of political diversity” right now is a real one, but should be laid at the feed of conservatives who boycotted the election or – even worse – collected conservative votes and threw them in the trash.
You're the elected leader of the country with enormous power and almost no opposition.  At a certain point, aren't you even slightly responsible for the direction of the country under your rule?
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 18, 2020, 08:07:20 PM
The most democratic form of government is a direct democracy.  We are easily small enough to accomplish this.  We will be small enough for direct democracy for a very long time, especially at the current rate of decline.  By your logic, your post of prime minister should be abolished.  We should instead just vote on individual issues each month, opening up the Clark to everyone in the country.  That would be dramatically more democratic.  But it would be less fun,

Again, de gustibus non est disputandum when it comes to what's "fun". Direct democracy would be, in my terminology, a Radical Peculiarist initiative, in that no existing state actually does it, and so as a Derivatist I prefer something like our current representative democracy for Talossa. But there's certainly an argument to be made for it.

Quote
I'm arguing that the line should be further towards fun,

You keep talking like there's a common definition of fun. Your fun is my boring, exclusionary pomposity. I'm having a lot of fun in Talossa as-it-is, and I 100% reject the idea of a "democracy vs. fun" binary opposition.

Quote
You're the elected leader of the country with enormous power and almost no opposition.  At a certain point, aren't you even slightly responsible for the direction of the country under your rule?

Again, we're talking about cross purposes. Sure, we all agree that there should be more cultural activity, and even that the current Government's ideas on how to ensure that haven't worked as well as they should have. But your analysis of what kind of cultural activity there should be, and what the Government can and should do about it, is totally different from my own. And democracy, at the moment, has given my "team" the power to try things out.

You (Sir Alexandreu) have made a decision that you're going to stop trying to win political power, as is your right - but aren't you (Talossan conservatives) even slightly responsible for the direction of the country if you've stopped trying to be in a position to improve things? You don't appear to put any blame on, for example, a certain veteran Talossan figure (quoted in my signature) who actually prefers inactivity to activity within new structures.

I'm not responsible for other people's abstentionism and boycotting. You appear to still be upset that I (and others liked me) fought things we didn't like in Talossa, and we won. I wish that you and your co-thinkers would do that, instead of IMHO sulking. Sarcastic occasional asides about the incompetence of the Government and Imminent Death of Talossa Predicted do nothing but annoy us. They don't make anything change.

We've got to work together rather than to stick our political opponents with all the blame, if we are to have a better nation.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on June 18, 2020, 08:31:52 PM
Again, de gustibus non est disputandum when it comes to what's "fun". Direct democracy would be, in my terminology, a Radical Peculiarist initiative, in that no existing state actually does it, and so as a Derivatist I prefer something like our current representative democracy for Talossa. But there's certainly an argument to be made for it.

I'm glad we're in agreement that compromises are being made with regards to democracy.  You'd prefer a more realistic imitation of larger countries rather than a more democratic Talossa.  And that's fine -- I actually agree with you.  But the compromise exists.  More democracy is sometimes an unalloyed good, but sometimes it represents a compromise with practicality, fun, or realism.

I'm having a lot of fun in Talossa as-it-is.
  I suppose that's one possible approach to governing.  I'm glad you're having fun, though.

Quote
You're the elected leader of the country with enormous power and almost no opposition.  At a certain point, aren't you even slightly responsible for the direction of the country under your rule?

Again, we're talking about cross purposes. Sure, we all agree that there should be more cultural activity, and even that the current Government's ideas on how to ensure that haven't worked as well as they should have. But your analysis of what kind of cultural activity there should be, and what the Government can and should do about it, is totally different from my own. And democracy, at the moment, has given my "team" the power to try things out.

You (Sir Alexandreu) have made a decision that you're going to stop trying to win political power, as is your right - but aren't you (Talossan conservatives) even slightly responsible for the direction of the country if you've stopped trying to be in a position to improve things? I'm not responsible for other people's abstentionism and boycotting. You appear to still be upset that I (and others liked me) fought things we didn't like in Talossa, and we won. I wish that you and your co-thinkers would do that, instead of IMHO sulking. Sarcastic occasional asides about the incompetence of the Government and Imminent Death of Talossa Predicted do nothing but annoy us. They don't make anything change.

We've got to work together rather than to stick our political opponents with all the blame, if we are to have a better nation.

This is a very longwinded way to say that, no, you don't accept responsibility.  But okay.  I wish you the best of luck with your analysis of what ails Talossa and what the solutions might be.  It's been a year and a half, but maybe you just need more time.  I do love Talossa, so I hope so.

For years, you compared conservatives to people like Stalin and Pol Pot, saying that our corruption and authoritarianism was the problem.  When the RUMP became a minority party, you said we were obstructionists who were getting in the way.  Now that the RUMP no longer exists and conservatives have mostly just stopped being interested in the country, how can we possibly still be at fault?
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu on June 18, 2020, 08:37:47 PM
Someone once quipped that Talossa is never quite so active as when it is trying to decide what it is going to be.  Or something along those lines.  But let's beware of simply talking past one another for the purposes of talking past one another.

I cannot help but think about the metaphysical structure of the Dragonlance Universe as laid out by Weiss and Hickman.  In their conception of the nature of good and evil, both are necessary and the "final victory" of either one or the other is not something to be desired.  There's got to be pushback.

The NPW hasn't been great at Opposition, I'll readily admit that.  But where are the royalists?  Why aren't they here making their own fun?  Is the real answer that they were just driven off by big meanies? 
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on June 18, 2020, 08:51:58 PM
But where are the royalists?  Why aren't they here making their own fun?  Is the real answer that they were just driven off by big meanies?
Miestra has suggested that we are sulking in a boycott.  I guess in this conception, someone like Sir Cresti still really would like to do Talossan stuff, but is refusing to do so as a form of sabotage.  This seems unlikely to me.

But if you're actually interested, it might be worth writing some of these folks and asking them directly about why they stopped being interested.  There was an anonymous opinion survey a bit ago, but if there's interest in why some people specifically lost the taste for Talossa, that's one way to find out.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 18, 2020, 09:13:38 PM
There was an anonymous opinion survey a bit ago, but if there's interest in why some people specifically lost the taste for Talossa, that's one way to find out.

I agree! By a staggering coincidence, running a second National Survey in the next Cosa term is Free Democrat policy; so I hope we can count on your vote to make that happen.

Funny, though, I'm pretty sure that in the original survey "Talossa has been ruined by democratic reforms which have sapped the fun out of it" was not the major factor which you would expect to hear Sir Alexandreu talk - see attachment. Well, we'll find out if that's changed. I repeat that one major factor which was mentioned as driving people away was "nastiness in discussion", which I honestly believe is not a problem any more.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on June 18, 2020, 09:32:11 PM
Sounds like things are going great, then.  Glad to hear it.  Best of luck.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: GV on June 20, 2020, 04:11:09 PM
There was a special midterm referendum on the monarchy just a few years ago, with 71% of respondents saying they wanted to keep the monarchy and 60% saying they didn't want it to be a figurehead.  I guess this question will be asked over and over in different ways until it produces the answer that is desired.

Perhaps that valid referendum didn't ask the best questions to deliver clarity?
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Béneditsch Ardpresteir on June 23, 2020, 01:09:47 PM
The Senator from Maricopa also does not seem to understand that, in a ranked-choice (IRV/PV) election, there isn't a "second round".

Of course, many true sentences can be made of the form: "The Senator from Maricopa also does not seem to understand that..."

Yes... and with each passing day, I care less and less about what happens in Miestra's Kingdom.... err Republic.

Para 3 of her vote count scenario does talk of the second round of counting. I think one of us actually is a simpleton. You better not teach me a ranked-choice vote, for in an RCV with multi-choice, the winner gets a majority in the final round.

I don't know if many sentences can be written about Ctx. M... but definitely she and her coterie are responsible for the non-participation of quite a few otherwise well-meaning citizens. It's not that they don't want to, it's only that - they can't.

 
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu on June 23, 2020, 02:24:44 PM
I don't know if many sentences can be written about Ctx. M... but definitely she and her coterie are responsible for the non-participation of quite a few otherwise well-meaning citizens. It's not that they don't want to, it's only that - they can't.

Why can't they?
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on June 23, 2020, 05:17:30 PM
I don't know if many sentences can be written about Ctx. M... but definitely she and her coterie are responsible for the non-participation of quite a few otherwise well-meaning citizens. It's not that they don't want to, it's only that - they can't.

Why can't they?

I put a powerful shamanic curse on them (pic related: it me)

(https://i.pinimg.com/474x/2e/cf/0c/2ecf0c0c90b5d8a762fac05474e6cd1f--witchcraft-magick.jpg)
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on July 09, 2020, 09:50:30 PM
I am opposed to this referendum. What would be the point? Would the next Government actually refrain from trying to further reduce the power of the Monarchy if that is what the referendum indicated? Because that is not what I recall the FreeDems did after the previous referendum.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on July 09, 2020, 10:17:14 PM
Certainly, if "status quo" wins this referendum, I don't foresee any serious attempts to depower the monarchy in the 55th Cosa; though I don't exclude other OrgLaw reforms to clear up little problems (eg. whether the election has to be delayed if the King doesn't dissolve the Cosa before the end of the last Clark month). This of course assumes that the Government's current cordial relations with His Maj continue and we don't end up with another Proclamation Crisis or Fiova/Florencia constitutional clusterfudge.

To be honest, the format of the referendum is because each of the three options has its supporters within the FreeDems, and if we can't come to a party consensus on the way forward, then the people should give us a hint.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Glüc da Dhi S.H. on August 02, 2020, 01:59:19 PM
Quote
the King of Talossa shall be replaced by an elected Head of State.

This should probably be rewritten as we may have an elected Head of State already.

Perhaps:
* The King of Talossa shall be replaced by a regularly elected president.

Additionally, can the following options be added:

* The Hereditary Monarchy shall be restored.
* An Electoral College, which shall be independent of the Ziu, shall be established to nominate future monarchs.

Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Glüc da Dhi S.H. on August 02, 2020, 02:07:19 PM
Actually, the npw dual head of state thing could probably be added as well.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Glüc da Dhi S.H. on August 02, 2020, 02:12:52 PM
Fwiw, I don't like non-binding referenda either way, but if we're gonna have one, might as well have some appealing options on there. In the current proposal all three options are bad imho.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: C. M. Siervicül on August 05, 2020, 09:25:33 AM
This should probably be rewritten as we may have an elected Head of State already.

Perhaps:
* The King of Talossa shall be replaced by a regularly elected president.

Additionally, can the following options be added:

* The Hereditary Monarchy shall be restored.
* An Electoral College, which shall be independent of the Ziu, shall be established to nominate future monarchs.
One challenge in creating a list of options is that mode of selection, tenure, and powers (and number of holders, for the NPW) are different dimensions of the office and the interplay between them can dramatically influence one’s order of preference. For example, a particular citizen might rank lifetime hereditary monarchy at the top of the list if the monarch is a “symbol of the nation” figurehead with no real powers, but far down the list otherwise. You could create a comprehensive list of options with different permutations of these dimensions but that could result in a very long list.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 05, 2020, 04:31:28 PM
I am not in favour of a complicated referendum ballot. That said, if suggestions can be made that will enable the essential principle to get the necessary 2/3 for a Royal Veto override, I am interested to hear what the LCC has to say.

On the subject of an Electoral College to choose a new King, rather than the Ziu, I am actually entirely in favour of that. The reason that the previous Government decided to abolish the hereditary principle without replacing it ("skinny repeal", I believe it's called) was precisely because we knew the argument on what should replace it would be a huge one and derail the issue altogether. So, now is the time to make such suggestions, and they may get Free Democrat support.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 13, 2020, 06:29:15 PM
Bill amended with the addition of a fourth option, as per the Coalition Agreement.
Title: Re: The Ranked Choice Constitutional Referendum Bill
Post by: GV on September 13, 2020, 01:53:25 AM

4.)  Whoa-Boy, the Infrastructure- Sleek websites and forums are very nice.  But they're also a huge pain in the tuckus.  Talossa will always be beholden to its nerds to keep things running, but I often think back to the geocities era of micronationalism and wonder if there wasn't something to the "quick and dirty" method of hanging out your shingle.  From what I've gathered, maintaining this stuff has been a thankless job.  This can be extended to a lot of stuff handled by the overall civil service.  You hear from the requisite minister when you miss a deadline, but not otherwise.  Do we have too much STUFF?

I agree.  This is one reason why I think the wiki is the best platform for most of our records and the like.  It's transparent, keeps records innately, it's very easy to understand and edit, and it operates based on very widely-used software.  The database is kicking up errors and has things that just can't be fixed without its specialist designer.  It's very impressive and cool, but it's also made us wholly dependent on MPF for most things to do with it.  That's just the way it is, and it's not a problem now, but it might be in the future.  Plans should be made for a future time when the database breaks and MPF is unable to help.

I came to enjoy using the Wiki.  It will continue to be ubiquitous, and I continually make backups with the functionality Lüc set up.  (I'll get everyone the link tomorrow.)

Our dependence on MPF is a real Achilles' heel (and yes, I periodically back up the Database), even as dependable as he has been.