Wittenberg

The Ziu => The Hopper => Topic started by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 02, 2020, 02:30:56 AM

Title: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 02, 2020, 02:30:56 AM
WHEREAS Article III of the Organic Law as amended by 54RZ16 now states, in part:

Quote
The Secretary of State may request from all successful candidates in a Senäts election a registration fee, to be set by law, to cover the cost of the election. This fee shall be uniform for all successful candidates.

AND WHEREAS the noble Senator from Maricopa has characterised this as "fleecing":

BE IT ENACTED by the King, Cosă and Senäts in Ziu assembled that Section B.9 of El Lexhatx is replaced in its entirety as follows:

Quote
9. The Secretary of State, or his appointed agent, shall charge a registration fee of 6¤40 (six louise and forty bence, equivalent to $10 USD) to each political party, and a registration fee of 3¤20 (three louise and twenty bence, equivalent to $5 USD) to each successful candidate in a Senäts election. in forthcoming elections. Any Party or Parties which fail or refuse to pay the fee shall be deemed not registered, and no successful candidate in a Senäts election shall be declared elected until they pay the fee. (53RZ22) (48PD02) (42RZ14)

    9.1. The fee may only be paid by:

        9.1.1. Sending a Money Order, Cash or Cheque by snail mail to the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue: Only fees which have been received in full, by the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue will be deemed paid. Fees that are in transit, delayed, lost in the mail or not received by the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue for any reason, shall not count as paid fees, even if accompanied with proof of postage. Payments made by Money Order or Cheque shall not be deemed as paid until they have been cleared, the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue, will notify the nation when such fees have cleared or if said payments have bounced. If a party’s or successful candidate's cheque or money order bounces, they shall be liable to pay costs incurred by the Kingdom for their payment bouncing and shall not be registered until their fee plus these costs have been paid.

        9.1.2. PayPal: Fees may be paid by electronically transferring the appropriate funds into the Kingdom of Talossa’s PayPal account managed by the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue. The Burgermeister of Inland Revenue is to notify all Political Parties in advance of the Election of details regarding the PayPal account into which they may deposit their fee. Once a fee has been received by the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue from a party or successful candidate, he shall notify the Nation publicly that said fee has been received and arrange for said fee to be deposited in the Kingdom’s Account.

        9.1.3. Payment directly to the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue: Payment may be made directly in person to the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue, by cash, cheque or money order. The Burgermeister of Inland Revenue shall notify the nation which such payments have been received. The policy of Cheque and Money orders in 9.2.1. applies equally in this instance.

    9.2. Once a fee has been received by the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue and/or their appointed agents, it is not refundable for any reason. If, however, a party or successful candidate overpays or pays more than once for any given election period, excess fees may be credited to the party or successful candidate against their next payment of fees or refunded, at the discretion of the Burgermeister of Inland Revenue, minus any fees or costs incurred.

9.3. A Senator who was not elected, but appointed under the provisions of Organic Law III.7, will not be liable for any fee.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Açafat del Val on August 02, 2020, 10:49:43 AM
If I were to stand for reelection, and if I were reelected as Senator, I would be happy to pay this fee.

I am evidently not so cheap and unpatriotic as my colleague from Maricopa; one would think that a Senator of Talossa should be honored and grateful to support his country financially.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on August 02, 2020, 08:55:04 PM
Isn't the PayPal also administered by the BIR rather than the MinFin?
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 02, 2020, 08:56:39 PM
I believe you're right, but this is the existing law with just Senäts candidates added in. I encourage amendments to better reflect reality.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on August 02, 2020, 09:08:16 PM
I believe you're right, but this is the existing law with just Senäts candidates added in. I encourage amendments to better reflect reality.
I propose an amendment to replace the references to MinFin with references to the BIR.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 02, 2020, 11:54:29 PM
I think that's done now?
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: C. M. Siervicül on August 05, 2020, 09:09:14 AM
If I were to stand for reelection, and if I were reelected as Senator, I would be happy to pay this fee.

I am evidently not so cheap and unpatriotic as my colleague from Maricopa; one would think that a Senator of Talossa should be honored and grateful to support his country financially.
Lack of patriotism is not the only reason one might have a problem with paying a fee to serve in the Senäts. A candidate who is, say, 15 or 16 years old might not have a means of paying online. For a candidate in a developing country, coming up with US$5 in cash as well as postage to mail it internationally may be a challenge.

About the bill itself (not a reply to you), I think the jab at the Senator from Maricopa is a bit petty to include in a statute proposed for enactment by the Ziu.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial on August 05, 2020, 09:19:11 AM
Lack of patriotism is not the only reason one might have a problem with paying a fee to serve in the Senäts. A candidate who is, say, 15 or 16 years old might not have a means of paying online. For a candidate in a developing country, coming up with US$5 in cash as well as postage to mail it internationally may be a challenge.

All of these caveats apply to the 6¤40 Cosă fee as well (if not doubly), don't they?
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: C. M. Siervicül on August 05, 2020, 10:01:15 AM
All of these caveats apply to the 6¤40 Cosă fee as well (if not doubly), don't they?
Yes, except for the fact that parties are typically groups and therefore the burden of a registration fee is split across multiple people, whereas the burden of a Senate fee is more likely to fall on an individual. I’ve long been skeptical of the registration fee for parties, too (back when it was $20 I proposed a bill to reduce it to $5 (https://talossa.proboards.com/thread/8964/registration-fee-reduction-act), which was followed by Sir Alexandreu’s successful proposal to cut it to $10). But the bigger point is that even if we think some kind of registration fee is unavoidable and that equity requires that senators or senate candidates share the burden somehow, let’s not unthinkingly impugn the patriotism of those who might be impacted by the fee.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 05, 2020, 04:25:35 PM
Jab? What jab? I explicitly say in honour of BenArd.

Talossa needs to be funded somehow. At the moment, almost all our income comes out of Cosa election registration fees. This is the first step to a broader tax base (the Free Democrats intend to make others this term, if the Ziu will). The Senäts fee does not stop anyone running for election, the fee only becomes a problem if they win. I am heartily skeptical that Kids These Days don't have some kind of online payment mechanism. If, on the other hand, a Senator were to be elected from a country where $US5 is a day's wages, then I will happily pay that fee myself.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 05, 2020, 05:20:25 PM
The most recent budget shows that we paid for almost the whole of our annual mandatory expenses (ie webhosting) from one term's worth of stamp sales, coin sales, and interest.  It seems as though we could fairly easily eliminate all election fees, rather than boosting them -- especially if we actually work to promote our stocks ($2600 or so in value, sitting on shelves) and run a contribution program (such as a GoFundMe for the webhosting fees).  Ideally, it should be free to participate in every aspect of Talossa if we can manage it.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 05, 2020, 05:24:39 PM
Ian P ran that promotion to keep people editing the wiki, and that might be a great example of how to pay our modest fees without charging for political participation any more.  A ceremonial PD and silly stunts by the Seneschal could get a GoFundMe done in like two weeks.

For that matter, it would be good to bring that back, even if it is just for the wiki again.  Basic stuff is falling behind almost everywhere.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Eðo Grischun on August 05, 2020, 05:30:03 PM
The most recent budget shows that we paid for almost the whole of our annual mandatory expenses (ie webhosting) from one term's worth of stamp sales, coin sales, and interest.  It seems as though we could fairly easily eliminate all election fees, rather than boosting them -- especially if we actually work to promote our stocks ($2600 or so in value, sitting on shelves) and run a contribution program (such as a GoFundMe for the webhosting fees).  Ideally, it should be free to participate in every aspect of Talossa if we can manage it.

If we get to the point where voluntary taxation starts to equal the webhost costs... but, that is not the case.

Anyway, this is an easy topic for the opposition to score some lazy political points with. There is nothing wrong with Talossa trying to increase its income so that we may look to increase what we regularly can afford to buy... say, Facebook Ad boosts or some targeted Google Ads to try and increase immigration and sort out that terrible growth problem that you harp on about.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 05, 2020, 05:43:44 PM
If the people of Talossa wanted silly stunts from their Seneschál, they would have voted LCC in greater numbers. Of course, Senator Plätschisch is free to do silly stunts as OppLeader. I'll happily chip in to see that happen.

Anyway, Senator Grischün makes a good point about paid advertising. Another thing we might want to consider is actual honoraria for people who do work for Talossa... maybe even outside experts. I am thinking, off the top of my head, of my non-Talossan friend who helped us fix the Wiki after Lüc disappeared.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Dr. Txec Róibeard dal Nordselvă, Esq., O.SPM, SMM on August 05, 2020, 06:13:55 PM
Basic stuff is falling behind almost everywhere.

It is so easy to criticize and point things out when you don’t do anything or volunteer your efforts.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Eðo Grischun on August 05, 2020, 06:52:47 PM
Basic stuff is falling behind almost everywhere.

It is so easy to criticize and point things out when you don’t do anything or volunteer your efforts.

We should actually give him credit where it's due on this one.

Some basic stuff did fall behind last term. Particularly, the usage of the Kingdom's social media which was woefully underused by the previous Minister, who actually happens to now be the leader of the party that Sir Davinescu now supports.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 05, 2020, 06:57:54 PM
The Senator from Florencia has commented to me about how astounded he is at the political tribalism coming out of LCC and its supporters since the election, and I think he has a point. It's "Scientology ethics": someone who's on your political team is held blameless for anything, while an opponent will be impeached for sneezing incorrectly.

But I know that the LCC leader, the Senator from Maritiimi-Maxhestic, doesn't approve of that crap himself, and I've dropped him a note asking him to keep them quiet in the cheap seats.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 05, 2020, 07:11:31 PM
The most recent budget shows that we paid for almost the whole of our annual mandatory expenses (ie webhosting) from one term's worth of stamp sales, coin sales, and interest.  It seems as though we could fairly easily eliminate all election fees, rather than boosting them -- especially if we actually work to promote our stocks ($2600 or so in value, sitting on shelves) and run a contribution program (such as a GoFundMe for the webhosting fees).  Ideally, it should be free to participate in every aspect of Talossa if we can manage it.

If we get to the point where voluntary taxation starts to equal the webhost costs... but, that is not the case.
I literally just detailed how we are already at the point where we don't need to charge people to be in politics.  And if we did even a small effort at voluntary fundraising, we'd be nearly certain to run a surplus even without fees to hold office.  What, are we going to fail to raise the additional $10 over the course of eight months?

Basic stuff is falling behind almost everywhere.

It is so easy to criticize and point things out when you don’t do anything or volunteer your efforts.
Bold words, especially without looking at Recent Changes to see my contributions.  But even if I hadn't had a chance to edit it recently, I think I probably have done enough with the wiki to merit the simple privilege of sounding the alarm.

And anyway, I reject this philosophy of "don't point out problems unless you can personally fix them."
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 05, 2020, 07:14:17 PM
Also, and this may shock you, but it's possible to hear me say that basic stuff is falling behind at the wiki and just agree because it's true.  I didn't say "and it's your fault because you personally are responsible for doing it."  Updating the wiki isn't the job of the Government.  Agreeing that a problem exists doesn't mean you've lost an imaginary Talossa Point.  It means we have a problem, as a country, that we need to fix.

Maybe you guys are outraged at the level of partisan attacks because you're perceiving everything as a partisan attack.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 05, 2020, 07:33:10 PM
Let's just quote from the classics here.

Alexandreu, va estimat amic, I'm afraid that, based on your Talossan track history, everything you say ever is justifiably interpreted as a partisan attack. Look at that quote in my signature. You have spent almost 15 years fighting what are now the politics of the incumbent government, accusing supporters of those politics of all kinds of malfeasance ("ex parte corruption", "betrayed stolen kept", etc)., and are most recently on record as saying that the best thing the incumbent Seneschal can do for Talossa is resign and become inactive. No matter whether or not you are an active member of a political party or an elected official, you're as non-partisan as Sean Hannity or Al Franken.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 05, 2020, 07:43:07 PM
Oh no, I activated your trap card!

(https://i.imgflip.com/4ak1h3.jpg)
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: C. M. Siervicül on August 05, 2020, 07:53:35 PM
This is why we can’t have nice things.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Dr. Txec Róibeard dal Nordselvă, Esq., O.SPM, SMM on August 05, 2020, 08:04:20 PM
Nope I’m not outraged at all. I’m merely pointing out an observation based on lots of posts made by yourself to which I’ve not responded or gotten angry at or anything. I don’t expect anything better from you really and whether your intent was partisan or “simply pointing things out” I could care less about you or your veiled attempts at smarminess.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Eðo Grischun on August 05, 2020, 08:16:19 PM
Mm hmm.  No outrage.  Just some eye rolling.  Your nonsense is really not worth the energy it would take to get angry.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on August 05, 2020, 08:56:13 PM
Basic stuff is falling behind almost everywhere.

It is so easy to criticize and point things out when you don’t do anything or volunteer your efforts.

We should actually give him credit where it's due on this one.

Some basic stuff did fall behind last term. Particularly, the usage of the Kingdom's social media which was woefully underused by the previous Minister, who actually happens to now be the leader of the party that Sir Davinescu now supports.
OK, while I am delighted to see the interim Government posting a ton to social media, I will not let my record as MinSTUFF be impugned like this. While my social media usage wasn't anything to write home about, it was a heck of a lot better than all other Ministers of STUFF I can remember. Since I became STUFF Minister last fall, I have made 16 posts to the Talossa Facebook page. Before that, no one had posted anything there for the past two years! The story is similar with our Twitter account.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on August 05, 2020, 09:05:36 PM
Also, so long as we're memeing, I can't resist this one
(https://i.imgflip.com/4ak9jv.jpg)
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 05, 2020, 09:34:01 PM
 ;D I was a Liz Warren stan myself, but I've got no real problem with Bernie (as opposed to some of his asshole fanclub).

But seriously, a point has been raised as to whether election registration fees are a good thing in themselves, or just "necessary evil" revenue gathering. I.e., if we were getting enough louise and bence from other sources, should we abolish those fees? Personally, I think setting a small bar to Kingdom electoral participation is a good thing, which redirects people away from politics to other facets of Talossanity.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Eðo Grischun on August 05, 2020, 09:54:10 PM
Agreed.  Revenue raising is only one advantage of electoral fees.

Arguably, the small fee also limits the ballot to containing only parties that are actually serious about getting elected.  It stops the ballot being spammed with pointless, frivolous and novelty parties.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on August 05, 2020, 10:18:09 PM
I don't have a strong opinion on that question, but in my experience every non-serious party has collapsed well before it came time to pay up.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 05, 2020, 11:09:38 PM
If people cannot do the interesting things they want to do, they will lose interest.  They will probably not become interested in the things we'd prefer they do, instead.

If a boy's father desperately wants him to like camping out in the woods, but the boy only wants to read comic books, the father can't make the boy like camping by banning comic books from the house.  The boy will still not be interested in camping -- and worse, he might not be interested in doing anything at all with his father.

Obviously, the father should invite the boy to bring his comics out on the trail with them.  The boy gets to do the thing he really likes, but he also gets a chance to be exposed to the interesting aspects of a new activity.

If we tax holding office, then we discourage people from holding office.  The tax isn't much, of course (right now), and the people who will be discouraged are mostly the young or poorer people or people who speak English as a second language.  But why are we taxing people for doing the fun things they want to do at all, if we can help it?  Isn't that kind of the opposite of what we're here to do?

We shouldn't be adding a tax on holding a seat in the Senats.  We should be eliminating the fee for holding a seat in the Cosa.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Eðo Grischun on August 05, 2020, 11:26:25 PM
Is there absolutely any evidence of any political movement, in the past, being snuffed out by the fee?

Has there ever been anybody that you remember walking away from Talossa because the party fee prevented them from forming a party and as a result made them throw in the towel?

Or are you indeed just trying to score the easy political points and low hanging fruit of "we will lower your taxes"?
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 05, 2020, 11:38:53 PM
You missed the implication that the fee disproportionately impacts young, poor and non-English speaking people, which is not only completely without evidence but a nasty little attempt to make those of Leftish disposition in the government feel guilty. Notice how it's phrased as an aside, or a throw-away, as if it were something obvious that his opponents just don't care about.

If only AD could make a suggestion or a political argument without somehow attempting to shame, anger or emotionally manipulate his collocutors. But it's been 14 years and nothing changes. Whenever AD says something particularly nasty like that in future, I think I'll just post this image.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 05, 2020, 11:55:32 PM
This is why we can’t have nice things.

With respect, Cresti, lo these many years ago I wrote to you asking whether you could do anything about AD's nasty, provocative way of arguing, and your response was, paraphrasing only slightly, "you [Miestra] are just as bad". That's why we can't have nice things.

"Both sides do it" has ruined US politics and it ruins Talossa.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 06, 2020, 12:00:24 AM
Is there absolutely any evidence of any political movement, in the past, being snuffed out by the fee?

Has there ever been anybody that you remember walking away from Talossa because the party fee prevented them from forming a party and as a result made them throw in the towel?

Or are you indeed just trying to score the easy political points and low hanging fruit of "we will lower your taxes"?

No, I don't have any direct evidence that any "political movement" was unable to pay the Cosa fee, and I have no direct knowledge of anyone walking away from Talossa because they couldn't pay.  I'm not sure how likely it is that such a thing would happen.  It's a small amount of money, and the people who are unable or unwilling to pay are almost certainly not going to say that it's standing in their way.  But it's common sense that if you ask people to pay money for a thing, that's going to discourage some people from doing that thing.  I mean, are you seriously saying that no one's ever been discouraged from starting their own party based on the fee?  If you're 14, finding a way to send a stranger money over the Internet can be disheartening, I would imagine.  If you're living in Sikkim, maybe it's not easy, either.  And so on.  Purely as a matter of basic reason, we have to admit that this probably plays a role in decisions some folks have made over time, right?

The points I'm trying to make are that:

A. It is wrong-headed on a basic principle to try to discourage people from doing a fun thing, out of the hope that they will do something else that you prefer.  You can't block people from the Cosa to try to force them to do provincial politics.  You can't block people from politics to try to force them to write poems.  It doesn't work.

B. It is wrong-headed as a basic principle to tax people for doing one of the main things people like actively doing in Talossa, because clearly that's a big draw and we should be encouraging that.  If we need to do it, okay, but if we don't -- then it makes no sense!

You missed the implication that the fee disproportionately impacts young, poor and non-English speaking people, which is not only completely without evidence but a nasty little attempt to make those of Leftish disposition in the government feel guilty.
You offered to pay out of your pocket for anyone who said they couldn't pay, which is great.  And for a lot of people, it's not a lot of money and they'd be happy to give it for a good cause (ahem, such as a GoFundMe).

But for a lot of people -- people who are not in the fluent English and globally affluent majority of Talossan citizenry -- it's not nothing.  Those people deserve a mention and that problem deserves to be acknowledged.  If the inequity makes you feel bad about the situation, great!  That's what's supposed to happen with inequity!  Let's be bold and eliminate the fees, instead!  We don't need them!

You know how you send money to someone in China?  You send it on your phone or through Alipay or something else like that.  It's the same in a lot of places!  Can we accept Alipay?  Are we going to ask people to do wire transfers instead?  No, that never happens.  People send checks from American or European banks, or they use a western-friendly service like PayPal.  And teenagers usually don't have the ability to do that in most households, even in affluent areas, unless they're from lucky families!
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 06, 2020, 12:15:03 AM
Look, I don't want to exaggerate or make this out to be the end of the world in terms of inequity -- that was an aside, elaborated upon only on demand.  Not a lot of Chinese teenagers are Talossans, and so we're not talking about a huge injustice being perpetrated on an oppressed underclass.  Our niche appeal, Internet base, and English language gives us specific demographics.  But we're just talking about a lot of teenaged Talossans and Talossans with less means over the years in aggregate.  There have been people affected by this.  I'm not going to pretend it's a pressing social justice issue, but neither should we pretend it doesn't matter in terms of who has access to Talossan fun.

The more central issue remains the main one I have been discussing: we shouldn't charge people to do the fun stuff unless we need to.  Because if you do, they'll tend to do less of that stuff in the long run.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Eðo Grischun on August 06, 2020, 12:21:33 AM
The registration fee doesn't block anybody from getting involved in politics, though.  I mean, you are providing the perfect example of how open our legislative system is to all citizens.  Anybody can come to the Hopper and debate just about any Bill whether they are in a party or not, whether they are officially a politician or not.

The fee doesn't even stop people from being in a party nor does it stop them from sitting in the Cosa for a party.

It was also said earlier that with parties, the cost can be spread over multiple people.  The FreeDem fee, for example, is rarely paid by the same person twice.  The most recent fee wasn't even paid by the party leader as someone else volunteered.

So, really, for the party registration fee doesn't really prohibit anybody from anything.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 06, 2020, 12:41:17 AM
For years and years, people have told me that the problem with Talossa is "too much politics". AD, on the other hand, thinks running in elections is "the fun stuff" to which there should be no impediment. They can't both be right.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 06, 2020, 07:22:57 AM
The registration fee doesn't block anybody from getting involved in politics, though.  I mean, you are providing the perfect example of how open our legislative system is to all citizens.  Anybody can come to the Hopper and debate just about any Bill whether they are in a party or not, whether they are officially a politician or not.

The fee doesn't even stop people from being in a party nor does it stop them from sitting in the Cosa for a party.

It was also said earlier that with parties, the cost can be spread over multiple people.  The FreeDem fee, for example, is rarely paid by the same person twice.  The most recent fee wasn't even paid by the party leader as someone else volunteered.

So, really, for the party registration fee doesn't really prohibit anybody from anything.
Yes, much of our system is open.  For free -- by right of your citizenship -- you can talk about things, support an existing party and hold its seats, or even run for office as a senator.  We're now proposing to eliminate the third one.  That's bad.  But you should also be able to start a new party for free, if we can manage that.  Looking at the budget, we can manage it easily.

I have thought of a couple of examples, as it happens.  As I recall, Nicola Casalmac'h wanted to form a Pirate Party with her brother, but opted not to do so because of the party fee (or maybe simply opted not to continue it because of the fee -- this was ten years ago or so).  And didn't Tariq Zubair also complain about paying a party fee, and instead joined an existing party?

The party registration fee isn't some huge barrier, but it is a barrier.  We should get rid of it, if we can afford to do so.  We definitely shouldn't start taxing other things unless we need to.

For years and years, people have told me that the problem with Talossa is "too much politics". AD, on the other hand, thinks running in elections is "the fun stuff" to which there should be no impediment. They can't both be right.
Imagine you you're a farmer growing crops and you've been having successful year after year with your wheat, but your corn isn't growing well.  Will it help your corn grow if you plow under your wheat fields?  No, of course not!  If you want corn, the solution is to a better job of growing that, not to harm the thing you're growing well.  You might still be sick of wheat, but you gotta eat.

I mean, honestly, can't we learn the lesson by now that you can't force people to be interested in stuff by banning them from the things they want to do?  When has that ever worked?  When we barred new citizens from the Cosa, did provincial government take off?  No.  Instead it's so anemic that some provinces have talked of merging to try to get together enough people who are interested.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Eðo Grischun on August 06, 2020, 09:41:25 AM
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZomwVcGt0LE
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Eðo Grischun on August 06, 2020, 09:45:56 AM
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=U8Mlm_XE-lk
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Eðo Grischun on August 06, 2020, 09:55:37 AM
(https://i.giphy.com/WcpaItX5JHYkw.gif)
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 06, 2020, 03:09:54 PM
I mean, honestly, can't we learn the lesson by now that

Alex, we're not schoolchildren, we don't have to accept your authority (http://"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS_plbAkZyU") about what "the lesson" is here. You don't speak from any position of success or accomplishment in politics, or even from the historical record of what Talossa was like in your "good old days". For those who came in late: Talossa was not significantly more active in Alex's Good Old Days, nor more fun, than today. It just gave Alex more of a platform.

Anyway, I honestly believe that preventing the fragmentation of the party system and expecting people who want political power to cough up the equivalent of a sandwich every 8 months for it is a good thing. Everything else you're saying is assertion phrased in a condescending voice, I just disagree with your basic premises, so debate is otiose.

To be fair, though, there are other ways of preventing the fragmentation of the party system; and it's not ideal that the difference between a legislator and a common prole is willingness to cough up $10 and nothing else. So, how's about this; I'll support removing the Cosa registration fee once (a) we have reliable sources of revenue to replace it; (b) we establish a Real Cosa-style system so you need more than your own vote to get a seat.

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When we barred new citizens from the Cosa, did provincial government take off?  No.  Instead it's so anemic

And here's another example - provincial government has always been anemic, and anyone who says otherwise is lying.


Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 06, 2020, 03:48:17 PM
To be fair, though, there are other ways of preventing the fragmentation of the party system; and it's not ideal that the difference between a legislator and a common prole is willingness to cough up $10 and nothing else. So, how's about this; I'll support removing the Cosa registration fee once (a) we have reliable sources of revenue to replace it; (b) we establish a Real Cosa-style system so you need more than your own vote to get a seat.

It seems, based on this, that you are in pursuit of two principles: reliable revenue (good, I'm on board with this, and congrats we're already there), and republicanism (ie, only sizable parties should be permitted to be in the Ziu, not small parties of one or two people)?  Why is the latter a good thing?  Isn't one of the best aspects of Talossa that we're small enough so that anyone can get to participate in stuff like legislating, even if they only represent themselves or one or two other people?

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When we barred new citizens from the Cosa, did provincial government take off?  No.  Instead it's so anemic

And here's another example - provincial government has always been anemic, and anyone who says otherwise is lying.
...it's always weird when you vigorously support my point, but yes, thank you.  Banning new citizens from the Ziu hasn't helped at all.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial on August 06, 2020, 03:56:08 PM
Sorry for chiming in again (not even sure why I do that, I'm completely neutral on this topic), but:

republicanism (ie, only sizable parties should be permitted to be in the Ziu, not small parties of one or two people)

I dont understand how discouraging one-or-two-man bands is related to not having a hereditary monarch. Is this some semantic quirk that I'm too European to understand?


EDIT: Since provincial governments have been mentioned, I have to ask: whats the point of having them in the first place? Like, I get having provinces, I suppose, but what do the provincial governments actually... do? They have leaders and assemblies and all these structures that, in the end, don't do anything for the entire term until the next election rolls around. Am I missing something?
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 06, 2020, 04:00:58 PM
Quote
and republicanism (ie, only sizable parties should be permitted to be in the Ziu, not small parties of one or two people)?

I scratched my head about what you meant by "republicanism", but then I realised you probably meant it in that weird US sense (not used anywhere else in the world) when it means "limits on democracy". But New Zealand, not a republic, has a threshold of 5% of the popular vote for a seat in the legislature. Other countries - Germany, Israel, Italy - have seen the issue with promoting party fragmentation and have also imposed thresholds, which encourage broader parties and alliances between parties.

A Real Cosa of 20 MCs would have an effective quota of 4-5 votes, which IMHO is probably slightly too large for Talossa. But the quota for Cosa elections should be at least 2 votes, this I firmly believe.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 06, 2020, 04:05:15 PM
Sorry for chiming in again (not even sure why I do that, I'm completely neutral on this topic), but:

republicanism (ie, only sizable parties should be permitted to be in the Ziu, not small parties of one or two people)

I dont understand how discouraging one-or-two-man bands is related to not having a hereditary monarch. Is this some semantic quirk that I'm too European to understand?

It's probably just my own lack of political acumen at work, sorry!  I'm a teacher and community organizer, and I have no training at all in poli-sci.  I was trying to find a term that wouldn't be inflammatory (like "exclusionary") but which accurately described the stance.  A republic is contrasted with a direct democracy inasmuch as people vote for representatives, and that's what I was getting at.  I'd love a better term, since that one has like twenty meanings and is immediately confusing.  Suggestions?


EDIT: Since provincial governments have been mentioned, I have to ask: whats the point of having them in the first place? Like, I get having provinces, I suppose, but what do the provincial governments actually... do? They have leaders and assemblies and all these structures that, in the end, don't do anything for the entire term until the next election rolls around. Am I missing something?
I can only really speak to one province, but M-M actually did do stuff back in the day, including passing our own laws and coming up with our own traditions.  There's also room for a lot more to develop, if we can get back some momentum.  Provinces represent opportunities for smaller groups to develop their own identities and explore ideas on a smaller level.  IRV was introduced successfully in one province before it was expanded nationally, for example.  It's mostly been a question of potential rather than actual success, but it's still tantalizing for a lot of us as an opportunity.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial on August 06, 2020, 04:19:40 PM
I was trying to find a term that wouldn't be inflammatory (like "exclusionary") but which accurately described the stance.  A republic is contrasted with a direct democracy inasmuch as people vote for representatives, and that's what I was getting at.  I'd love a better term, since that one has like twenty meanings and is immediately confusing.  Suggestions?

Ah, so it was a semantic quirk. The mainstream term for a democracy that functions through representatives would be, well, "representative democracy", though I'm not sure if the term has enough oumpf. "Exclusive democracy" means something else entirely (think Apartheid South Africa, which was perfectly democratic... if you were White.)

As Miestră has pointed out, election thresholds are par for the course in any representative democracy out there. Even Switzerland, which would be the closest thing to what an American would call a democracy I guess, has these thresholds on the cantonal level. In a 20-seat Real Cosă, you would need 5% of the non-PRESENT vote to get one guaranteed seat. This equals 5.34 votes based on the average voter turnout of 106.9 non-PRESENT votes since the 45th Cosă election. Thanks to rounding though, you would only need roughly 2.5% of the vote (2.67 votes) to get in in most scenarios.

Now, whether a de facto 2.5% treshold is too high or too low is a different topic entirely (and is only tangentially related to the Fleecing Act). Just wanted to put that out there.
Title: Re: The Fleecing Act
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 06, 2020, 04:24:53 PM
Yeah, I'm not sure what the best term would be still. Exclusionary is too inflammatory even if it were accurate, anyway.

I absolutely agree that every single parliamentary democracy in the world has a high threshold for getting into the parliament. Often it's extremely high, on the order of thousands or tens of thousands. But it's not a good thing, it's a necessary evil. One of the best parts about our country is that it's small enough for people to meaningfully participate in all sorts of aspects like that. Why would it be good to make that harder? Just blind imitation of these other countries?