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Author Topic: Legal Questions  (Read 309 times)

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Legal Questions
« on: August 02, 2020, 08:48:30 AM »
The new Article VI has a Section 5:
Quote
The second Clark of every Ziu may entertain business as normal, but especially shall occur after a month of recess following the first Clark.  The Seneschál shall have the express duty during the said month of recess to form a government and prepare their legislative agenda, and shall announce publicly both the roster and the agenda at least before, if not sooner than, the last day on which a member of the Ziu may submit a measure to the second Clark.

What does the first sentence mean?

And also it seems that the Seneschal must personally stay in power through a whole Government, even if they're ill or can't otherwise do the job, since they can't legally be replaced without a new general election (Section 7  "No election for the Seneschál shall occur, except during the first Clark of a newly seated Ziu.")?  Am I reading this one right?

Offline Açafat del Val

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2020, 11:29:36 AM »
Having authorized the relevant section...

The referenced sentence is in response to this clause in Section 5 (the part which you quote is actually Section 6): "The election of a Seneschál shall be the sole and exclusive business of the first Clark of every newly seated Ziu..."

In other words, the second Clark may have bills, the standard Vote of Confidence, resolutions, and so forth, whereas the first Clark may be only, exclusively, and solely the election of the Seneschal without introduction or consideration of any other matter. (Well, except that the Senate may, if it chooses, complete its election of the Mencei or other matters, hence the "...any of their business for which the consent of the Cosâ or the King be not requisite".)

As for the Seneschal staying in power: Incorrect. See Section 8:

Quote
The Seneschál shall appoint a member of the Government to be the Deputy Prime Minister, who shall be known otherwise as the Distáin. The Distáin shall act in place of the Seneschál in case of absence or disability of the latter, and shall become the Seneschál in case of death, removal or resignation. The Ziu may establish by law the procedures and standards in order to determine the absence or disability of the Seneschál, as well as the manner or conditions by which the Distáin shall be appointed.

If a Seneschal is absent, dies, or yadda yadda yadda, then the Deputy takes over. Furthermore, the Ziu may set standards by law so that the Distain doesn't just become the Senescahl on a whim.

It's a new paradigm, and certainly we will need to be making some changes to the law in order to avoid constitutional crises in the future.

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2020, 12:13:22 PM »
The referenced sentence is in response to this clause in Section 5 (the part which you quote is actually Section 6): "The election of a Seneschál shall be the sole and exclusive business of the first Clark of every newly seated Ziu..."
In other words, the second Clark may have bills, the standard Vote of Confidence, resolutions, and so forth, whereas the first Clark may be only, exclusively, and solely the election of the Seneschal without introduction or consideration of any other matter. (Well, except that the Senate may, if it chooses, complete its election of the Mencei or other matters, hence the "...any of their business for which the consent of the Cosâ or the King be not requisite".)

Well, okay, but this is the sentence:

Quote
The second Clark of every Ziu may entertain business as normal, but especially shall occur after a month of recess following the first Clark.

I think I understand your intentions, but purely as a matter of written language, this is really hard to parse.

The coordinating conjunction between the two clauses suggests a logical link of exclusion between them.  For example: "Everyone gets ham for lunch, but Trevor's lunch is over there."  The suggestion is that Trevor's lunch is different in some way from everyone else's lunch, and implies that it is different in terms of the mentioned quality (hamness).

This provision reads like, "The second Clark is normal, BUT it will especially occur after a month of recess following the first Clark."  That doesn't make any sense.  If you replace the coordinating conjunction with "and," then it would make sense, but right now it's really confusing.

The second part also seems weird.  How can the second Clark "especially" occur after a month of recess following the first Clark?  Is it purporting to mandate that there be a month of recess?  I mean, the intent of this whole bit seems to be to proscribe that the first Clark is just electing a Seneschal, then there's a monthlong break, and then the subsequent six Clarks play out as normal (or five Clarks and one minute, if the king chooses to end the Government early with his new power of prorogation).  But it's really hard to understand just as it's written, and it clearly doesn't mandate anything.  In fact, as best I can tell, a Government can gain an extra month in which to pass bills by just not declaring a month of recess until later in the term.  If they wait until later, then the second Clark is not occurring after a month of recess following the first Clark, which renders the rest of the passage inoperable since its primary condition hasn't been met.

As for the Seneschal staying in power: Incorrect. See Section 8:

Quote
The Seneschál shall appoint a member of the Government to be the Deputy Prime Minister, who shall be known otherwise as the Distáin. The Distáin shall act in place of the Seneschál in case of absence or disability of the latter, and shall become the Seneschál in case of death, removal or resignation. The Ziu may establish by law the procedures and standards in order to determine the absence or disability of the Seneschál, as well as the manner or conditions by which the Distáin shall be appointed.

If a Seneschal is absent, dies, or yadda yadda yadda, then the Deputy takes over. Furthermore, the Ziu may set standards by law so that the Distain doesn't just become the Senescahl on a whim.
No, I see that the Distain can be acting as Seneschal in that instance, but Section 2 seems really clear:

Quote
The Seneschál shall be elected directly by the Cosâ, and his term shall expire upon the installation of his successor. He shall maintain the confidence of a majority of the Cosâ alone in order to hold the office.

The Government is here and throughout identified with the specific person who is elected as Seneschal.  There's other provisions that say who the successor can be, but I don't really see why the term doesn't expire once that happens, since it explicitly says as much.

I mean, if you're elected as Seneschal, and you get die, your Distain becomes the new Seneschal and succeeds you in office.  Your successor being installed, the "term shall expire."

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2020, 12:14:16 PM »
Furthermore, the Ziu may set standards by law so that the Distain doesn't just become the Senescahl on a whim.
Surely the problem with this system is apparent?

Offline Açafat del Val

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2020, 12:31:31 PM »
These all sound like great opportunities for you to reenter politics and hopper some bills!

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2020, 01:02:29 PM »
There is not much appeal in the role of legislative janitor.

Offline Açafat del Val

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2020, 01:17:15 PM »
Ah, but there is so much appeal in public service. There is always something to clean up, someone to help, and pride to be had in hard work.

Unless you mean that you are above these things? In which case, I could see why public service might be unfitting for you.

It requires a dedication to something more than crying or whining. Certainly it requires more than the flimsy excuse behind which so much of the LCC seems to hide!

By the way, your statement is unfair to janitors: they do more in service to their employers than you have done for Talossa in years.

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2020, 01:30:57 PM »
Ah, but there is so much appeal in public service. There is always something to clean up, someone to help, and pride to be had in hard work.

Unless you mean that you are above these things? In which case, I could see why public service might be unfitting for you.

It requires a dedication to something more than crying or whining. Certainly it requires more than the flimsy excuse behind which so much of the LCC seems to hide!

By the way, your statement is unfair to janitors: they do more in service to their employers than you have done for Talossa in years.

This is an interesting message.  There are a lot of implications in it.
  • For one thing, you seem to be saying that I am "crying or whining" when I point out serious problems with the law.  If I wrote a law and someone pointed out some huge problems that could bring our system of a government to a crushing halt, then I would be grateful that someone noticed the problems and pointed them out to me.  I wouldn't get angry with them for noticing the problems.
  • You also seem to be suggesting that I am lazy and haven't contributed much to Talossa.  That is an interesting take.
  • And finally, you seem to imply that I shouldn't be pointing out problems in the law unless I am personally willing to fix them.  Being a mere citizen isn't enough.
I think, though, that you probably just got annoyed with me and lost your temper.  You took a lot of pride in writing a big amendment, and you're taking criticism of the resulting law as a criticism of you, even if I was polite about it.  But I haven't said anything about you, from first to last.  I just noticed some serious problems and pointed them out.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 01:32:39 PM by Sir Alexandreu Davinescu »

Offline Glüc da Dhi S.H.

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2020, 01:35:47 PM »
To be fair, sir AD has done a LOT for Talossa, both as a legislator and otherwise.

Scrutiny of our laws is a good thing, even by citizens who don't hold cosa seats. If anything we should have more of it.

(And of course, earlier in the process is always better, but this shouldn't be used to silence anyone or ignore valid comments that happen to be late. It's better that these things get pointed out late than never.)

Edit: wrote this before seeing ADs reply

Offline Açafat del Val

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2020, 03:45:37 PM »
Constructive criticism and scrutiny are welcome and invited; smarminess or insincere statements are not. It is counterproductive to engage with or respond to actors of bad faith, and it is entirely reasonable to expect that participants of public discourse should have clean hands.

The amendment in question of this thread stands on its own, even if Davinescu cannot fathom it. As a potential member of our judiciary, I should hope that he can discern it without assistance... although I also am concerned that a person who has an outstanding nomination to the Uppermost Cort would continue to participate in political discussions.

In any case, as a gesture of good faith, I will criticize the very amendment which I wrote: in Section 5 I made a substantial grammatical error and, although the meaning can be figured out within context, it is still an issue which deserves resolution by a future amendment. To wit:

Quote
No member of the Cosâ may abstain in the election of a Seneschál, and shall rank on his ballot at least two distinct preferences, which itself shall be made public.

By the way, I did not impugn Davinescu for having never contributed, but for having failed to contribute recently. He speaks often and loudly for someone who refuses to participate meaningfully. Moreover, he compared public service – specifically, being a member of the Ziu – to being a "legislative janitor". That comparison is unfounded and – again – for a potential member of our judiciary, it is grossly unbecoming. A person making such a comparison is deserving neither of respect nor of a seat on any of our Corts.

I will point out that the LCC lacks a majority plurality of voters' support for a reason.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 03:49:49 PM by Açafat del Val »

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2020, 04:03:46 PM »
By the way, I did not impugn Davinescu for having never contributed, but for having failed to contribute recently. He speaks often and loudly for someone who refuses to participate meaningfully. Moreover, he compared public service – specifically, being a member of the Ziu – to being a "legislative janitor".

It makes more sense when you understand that Sir Alexandreu's interventions are almost always not designed to solve problems, but to make other people feel bad. Sometimes making someone feel bad will make them do something so you don't have to. Sometimes, it's just sheer pleasure.

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Talossa. Ask me anything.

"IS INACTIVITY BAD? I THINK NOT!" - Lord Hooligan
"It probably would be a bit helpful if you resigned and became inactive..." - Sir A. Davinescù

Offline Açafat del Val

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2020, 04:53:47 PM »
Aye, and it is self-evidently disingenuous that these criticisms were laid out after the fact when the same critic had access to The Hopper and could well have asked these questions then.

Not to mention-- it passed the Cosa unanimously.

So, when Davinescu says that he won't participate in the process because he doesn't want to be a "legislative janitor", he's not even insulting me personally, although he thinks he did; he is actually insulting all the members of the Ziu who voted for it, such as Breneir Itravilatx and Ian Plätschisch, ultimately saying that they too failed to see the errors.

I see that those two names persons "liked" several posts made in this thread by Davinescu, so I'd like to ask them: How does it feel when Davinescu equates a bill which you voted for, and which the Cosa passed unanimously, to being dirty work that would require him to clean up like a janitor?


Offline Ian Plätschisch

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2020, 07:21:44 PM »
Argh, this is a tad annoying.

First off, S:reu del Val, you went from seeming to acknowledge AD's criticisms were valid ("These all sound like great opportunities for you to reenter politics and hopper some bills!") to accusing him of bad faith ("It is counterproductive to engage with or respond to actors of bad faith") and claiming it was his fault he couldn't understand the amendment ("The amendment in question of this thread stands on its own, even if Davinescu cannot fathom it.") in approximately two seconds. What changed?

Secondly, I will admit that had I scrutinized this amendment more than I did, maybe I would have found these errors myself beforehand. Honestly, the sentence " The second Clark of every Ziu may entertain business as normal, but especially shall occur after a month of recess following the first Clark" doesn't make that much sense to me now that I think about it. However, I'm a human and it's hard to get myself to read through long and very dry legislation (going through many, many drafts of V's proposed new Organic Law during the 52nd Cosa was a real slog, trust me EDIT: not an attack on V; any new Organic Law would be a slog to proofread), especially when there are other members of the Government who purport to be much more experienced than myself at writing legalese well. I'll have to do a better job going forward.
 
Finally, I am sick and tired of hearing that any criticisms of a bill that are raised too late are inherently disingenuous. A good point is a good point regardless of when it is raised, and furthermore, it is not the responsibility of someone who is not even an MC to proofread every bill at exactly the moment the Government desires. I would really expect more grace when dealing with critics of a bill, especially when that bill is already passed!.

On this count, I practice what I preach. One of my first experiences as a politician in Talossa was an embarrassing debacle in which a bill I proposed failed because of criticisms which weren't voiced until after the voting had already started. Rather than complain about bad faith (and I find it funny you are implying the LLC are just complainers when must of pointless complaining seems to be coming from a different party), I ate my humble pie and admitted my mistake in expecting the bill to pass without comment.

I have also voted against my own bill because of arguments raised after it was put to a vote.

I do not feel personally attacked in any way by the suggestion I probably made a mistake.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 08:18:07 PM by Ian Plätschisch »

Offline Viteu

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2020, 07:46:01 PM »
However, I'm a human and it's hard to get myself to read through long and very dry legislation (going through many, many drafts of V's proposed new Organic Law during the 52nd Cosa was a real slog, trust me), especially when there are other members of the Government who purport to be much more experienced than myself at writing legalese well. I'll have to do a better job going forward.


Relevance?

Quote

Finally, I am sick and tired of hearing that any criticisms of a bill that are raised too late are inherently disingenuous. A good point is a good point regardless of when it is raised, and furthermore, it is not the responsibility of someone who is not even an MC to proofread every bill at exactly the moment the Government desires. [/u][/b].

Get over it.  There is an expectation that people read something before voting for it.  I'm sick and tired of people attacking something after it is passed, when it was publicly available for them to read and publicly comment on before then.  In fact, the very point of the Hopper is for the quotidian review. Also, it baffles me how my proposed Organic Law is, in any way, relevant to this conversation outside of some conspicuous and cheap political attack.   
Viteu Marcianüs
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Offline Açafat del Val

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2020, 07:49:44 PM »
I do not feel personally attacked in any way by the suggestion I probably made a mistake.

Neither do I, and these incessant suggestions otherwise are a bit hypocritical. A person is more than capable of, as was said elsewhere, an excellent riposte of a criticism at the same time as not taking personal offense from the same criticism.

I never acknowledged that AD's criticisms were valid; on the contrary, I was suggesting that, if he wishes to complain, he should hopper some bills to correct the errors. "Put up or shut up", as it were.

I have been pretty consistent from the beginning in assessing that this thread was started and continues in bad faith.

An example of bad faith: the constant strawmen and other fallacies. No statement has been raised by me here or elsewhere that criticisms be invalid for being "raised too late", or that late criticisms are inherently disingenuous; that's a hasty, false, and impugning assumption. Again on the contrary, my criticism is instead that it is ridiculous - utterly ridiculous - that a particular person, but several people in general, are critiquing minutiae (or even substantial items, really) without offering alternatives or participating in the process.

This is not the United States, New Zealand, or any other major sovereignty; this is Talossa, and here we have a very low barrier of entry to participate in the political system. Moreover, it is insufficient to hide behind an excuse of "I'm just an average-day citizen" when the critic is, by others' own admission, more than just an average-day citizen.

If Alexandreu Davinescu, Breneir Itravilatx, C. M. Siervicül, or other members of the LCC desire to criticize the efforts of active citizens, then they should put up their own ideas or sit down.

You read that correctly and are more than welcome to hold it against me: If you're not willing to offer an alternative idea, an amendment, or at least a valuable piece of constructive feedback, then you should continue to stay silent.