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Author Topic: SoS Responsibility Reform?  (Read 77 times)

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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SoS Responsibility Reform?
« on: August 04, 2022, 08:52:22 PM »
pretty recently my own office of Túischac’h, an office elected or removed by simple majority of the Cosa (ie, the Government) was granted the power to manage and/or fire the Secretary of State.  It's not like some giant thing or huge disaster, and obviously I'm personally never going to abuse it, but I do think that probably it's a mistake that could be abused.

Well, I see you're backpedalling from your claim that the Goverment (defined as the Seneschal and Cabinet) "control" the Chancery, to pointing out that the elected leaders of the Houses of the Ziu have power to recall the SoS. That's a bit embarrassing for you, but forget that for a moment - I agree you might have a point that it's somewhat "unbalanced", on reflection. If I remember right, the original suggestion was that the Seneschál having sole right to hire and fire the SoS really would "put the Chancery under Govt control", and we added the chairs of the Houses to indicate that the SoS would have to account to the Legislative as well as Executive Branches. But I have, independently, wondered whether that's going too far.

If you want to change that - to perhaps a system where you'd need two or maybe even three of the Seneschál and the two Chairs of the Ziu to dismiss the SoS - then I'll write up the draft bill this very day. Or you can do so and I'll get the FreeDems in behind it.
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Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: SoS Responsibility Reform?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2022, 10:37:56 PM »
Here we go: change El Lex C.3.1 as follows:

Quote
3.1 The Secretary of State is appointed by the King on the recommendation of the Seneschál, and removed by the King on the recommendation of any two of the Seneschál, the Túischac’h or the Mençei for professional misconduct, inability to perform their duties due to incapacitation or failure to perform their required duties.

Comments?
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Offline Tric'hard Lenxheir

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Re: SoS Responsibility Reform?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2022, 10:39:44 PM »
Here we go: change El Lex C.3.1 as follows:

Quote
3.1 The Secretary of State is appointed by the King on the recommendation of the Seneschál, and removed by the King on the recommendation of any two of the Seneschál, the Túischac’h or the Mençei for professional misconduct, inability to perform their duties due to incapacitation or failure to perform their required duties.

Comments?

I think that sounds fair

Offline Breneir Tzaracomprada

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Re: SoS Responsibility Reform?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2022, 07:29:36 AM »
Speaking personally, not as TNC Leader, I like it.
I ask that we consider another small change, not out of trolling or gamesmanship but out of a genuine concern. Would you agree to an amendment stating that the next SOS would be prohibited from acting as leader (not prohibition on membership or other private activities) of a political party or other partisan organization?

I know that Dr. Nordselva is honorable through his words and actions as the incumbent SOS and FreeDems party leader but I am not comfortable with assuming based on this precedent that all future SOSs will be as honorable and morally upright as he is. This can go into effect after he steps down but please support this small change to further entrench the apolitical status of the Chancery.

Online Dr. Txec Róibeard dal Nordselvă, Esq., O.SPM, SMM

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Re: SoS Responsibility Reform?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2022, 03:43:17 PM »
Here we go: change El Lex C.3.1 as follows:

Quote
3.1 The Secretary of State is appointed by the King on the recommendation of the Seneschál, and removed by the King on the recommendation of any two of the Seneschál, the Túischac’h or the Mençei for professional misconduct, inability to perform their duties due to incapacitation or failure to perform their required duties.

Comments?

This is a proposal I would support.
Dr. Txec Róibeard dal Nordselvă, Esq., O.SPM, SMM
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Justice Emeritus of the Uppermost Cort
The Rouge Elephant Herald, RTCoA
Former Seneschal

Online Dr. Txec Róibeard dal Nordselvă, Esq., O.SPM, SMM

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Re: SoS Responsibility Reform?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2022, 03:47:38 PM »
Speaking personally, not as TNC Leader, I like it.
I ask that we consider another small change, not out of trolling or gamesmanship but out of a genuine concern. Would you agree to an amendment stating that the next SOS would be prohibited from acting as leader (not prohibition on membership or other private activities) of a political party or other partisan organization?

I know that Dr. Nordselva is honorable through his words and actions as the incumbent SOS and FreeDems party leader but I am not comfortable with assuming based on this precedent that all future SOSs will be as honorable and morally upright as he is. This can go into effect after he steps down but please support this small change to further entrench the apolitical status of the Chancery.

My concern is that, at least for the moment, we have a smallish pool of people to pull from and by further limiting them we could be further shrinking the available pool of active citizens. I think by further limiting we run the risk of turning the chancery into a cemetery in the same way we doomed the UC judges.
Dr. Txec Róibeard dal Nordselvă, Esq., O.SPM, SMM
Secretár d'Estat
Scribe of Abbavilla
Justice Emeritus of the Uppermost Cort
The Rouge Elephant Herald, RTCoA
Former Seneschal

Offline Breneir Tzaracomprada

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Re: SoS Responsibility Reform?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2022, 03:54:12 PM »
Speaking personally, not as TNC Leader, I like it.
I ask that we consider another small change, not out of trolling or gamesmanship but out of a genuine concern. Would you agree to an amendment stating that the next SOS would be prohibited from acting as leader (not prohibition on membership or other private activities) of a political party or other partisan organization?

I know that Dr. Nordselva is honorable through his words and actions as the incumbent SOS and FreeDems party leader but I am not comfortable with assuming based on this precedent that all future SOSs will be as honorable and morally upright as he is. This can go into effect after he steps down but please support this small change to further entrench the apolitical status of the Chancery.

My concern is that, at least for the moment, we have a smallish pool of people to pull from and by further limiting them we could be further shrinking the available pool of active citizens. I think by further limiting we run the risk of turning the chancery into a cemetery in the same way we doomed the UC judges.

That is perfectly understandable, Dr. dal Nordselva. What if we added an opt-out in case of an obvious and declared difficulty replacing an incumbent SOS. When amending the Florencian Constitution we did that when considering restrictions on gubernatorial nominees.

Online Dr. Txec Róibeard dal Nordselvă, Esq., O.SPM, SMM

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Re: SoS Responsibility Reform?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2022, 04:22:52 PM »
Speaking personally, not as TNC Leader, I like it.
I ask that we consider another small change, not out of trolling or gamesmanship but out of a genuine concern. Would you agree to an amendment stating that the next SOS would be prohibited from acting as leader (not prohibition on membership or other private activities) of a political party or other partisan organization?

I know that Dr. Nordselva is honorable through his words and actions as the incumbent SOS and FreeDems party leader but I am not comfortable with assuming based on this precedent that all future SOSs will be as honorable and morally upright as he is. This can go into effect after he steps down but please support this small change to further entrench the apolitical status of the Chancery.

My concern is that, at least for the moment, we have a smallish pool of people to pull from and by further limiting them we could be further shrinking the available pool of active citizens. I think by further limiting we run the risk of turning the chancery into a cemetery in the same way we doomed the UC judges.

That is perfectly understandable, Dr. dal Nordselva. What if we added an opt-out in case of an obvious and declared difficulty replacing an incumbent SOS. When amending the Florencian Constitution we did that when considering restrictions on gubernatorial nominees.

What would that opt-out look like?
Dr. Txec Róibeard dal Nordselvă, Esq., O.SPM, SMM
Secretár d'Estat
Scribe of Abbavilla
Justice Emeritus of the Uppermost Cort
The Rouge Elephant Herald, RTCoA
Former Seneschal

Offline Baron Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: SoS Responsibility Reform?
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2022, 04:28:17 PM »
Speaking personally, not as TNC Leader, I like it.
I ask that we consider another small change, not out of trolling or gamesmanship but out of a genuine concern. Would you agree to an amendment stating that the next SOS would be prohibited from acting as leader (not prohibition on membership or other private activities) of a political party or other partisan organization?

I know that Dr. Nordselva is honorable through his words and actions as the incumbent SOS and FreeDems party leader but I am not comfortable with assuming based on this precedent that all future SOSs will be as honorable and morally upright as he is. This can go into effect after he steps down but please support this small change to further entrench the apolitical status of the Chancery.

My concern is that, at least for the moment, we have a smallish pool of people to pull from and by further limiting them we could be further shrinking the available pool of active citizens. I think by further limiting we run the risk of turning the chancery into a cemetery in the same way we doomed the UC judges.

That is perfectly understandable, Dr. dal Nordselva. What if we added an opt-out in case of an obvious and declared difficulty replacing an incumbent SOS. When amending the Florencian Constitution we did that when considering restrictions on gubernatorial nominees.

What would that opt-out look like?

I definitely suggest that it makes sense not to have an opt out. If it actually is difficult, then changing the law provides a normal hurdle of a short duration. And that makes it simpler!
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Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: SoS Responsibility Reform?
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 03:23:28 AM »
I suggest that the ability of the two Chairs of the Houses of the Ziu to trigger his dismissal are a far superior guarantee against the SoS being incompetent, malicious or partisan. Very few Talossans are simultaneously active in the Kingdom and not politically active.

However: maybe we could sweeten the deal by a requirement for a new SoS's appointment to get 2/3 majorities in both Houses (or to be able to be "blocked" by 67 MCs or 3 Senators)?
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Offline Baron Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: SoS Responsibility Reform?
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 07:42:13 AM »
But then this is getting just really complicated... Having a simple requirement that the Secretary of State not be in the leadership of any political party is simple and clean, and if it proves to be any kind of a problem, it can be repealed in a month. Baroque systems have a good chance of going wrong or backfiring and unexpected ways.

It's also a little bit more likely to be pretty directly useful. Having their requirement for two people to fire the official, both of whom are elected by a majority of the same body, seems less likely to be useful, although still worth doing.
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Offline Breneir Tzaracomprada

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Re: SoS Responsibility Reform?
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 10:23:27 AM »
But then this is getting just really complicated... Having a simple requirement that the Secretary of State not be in the leadership of any political party is simple and clean, and if it proves to be any kind of a problem, it can be repealed in a month. Baroque systems have a good chance of going wrong or backfiring and unexpected ways.

It's also a little bit more likely to be pretty directly useful. Having their requirement for two people to fire the official, both of whom are elected by a majority of the same body, seems less likely to be useful, although still worth doing.

I agree with the Baron that a simple prohibition is preferable. If it does cause problems, which I am not convinced is likely due to the small class of invidividuals and the superior prestige of the SOS position compared to the leadership of a party, in recruitment then only a majority of the Ziu is necessary to remove it. The imperative to entrench the apolitical nature of the SOS position outweighs the small likelihood that this will create recruitment difficulties.

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: SoS Responsibility Reform?
« Reply #12 on: Today at 04:31:08 AM »
Well, I can't really agree to your proposed amendment, because it's pretty much a bill of attainder. A bill of attainder against a person whom - everyone admits - has behaved nothing but impeccably. So I'm scratching my head as to why it's necessary. I'm much better disposed to measures to make sure that the SoS can be held accountable against any actual incompetence or political bias, not guilt by political association.
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Offline Breneir Tzaracomprada

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Re: SoS Responsibility Reform?
« Reply #13 on: Today at 06:45:10 AM »
Well, I can't really agree to your proposed amendment, because it's pretty much a bill of attainder. A bill of attainder against a person whom - everyone admits - has behaved nothing but impeccably. So I'm scratching my head as to why it's necessary. I'm much better disposed to measures to make sure that the SoS can be held accountable against any actual incompetence or political bias, not guilt by political association.

Thank you. If it is not acceptable as an amendment then I will propose it as a standalone measure.
« Last Edit: Today at 06:52:25 AM by Breneir Tzaracomprada »

Offline Baron Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: SoS Responsibility Reform?
« Reply #14 on: Today at 08:16:50 AM »
Just to be clear, the amendment for the subsequent bill would not at all be a bill of attainder. A bill of attainder is a bill aimed at a specific person, to use legislative action to punish them particularly in some way.

I would suggest that a simple way to resolve this, so you don't think that this is a reflection on Txec, is to include a clause in the bill that causes it to take effect only upon the next appointment.
« Last Edit: Today at 08:27:02 AM by Baron Alexandreu Davinescu »
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    Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein