This version of Wittenberg is now the legal national forum for Talossa! Feel free to explore it, and to check out the threads for feedback, requests and criticisms to make sure Wittenberg is tailored to you.

Author Topic: Real Cosă 2021  (Read 628 times)

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

  • Prime Minister
  • Citizen
  • Posts: 881
  • Large and In Charge
    • Talossan since: 2004-06-12

    • View Profile
    • Free Democrats of Talossa
Real Cosă 2021
« on: January 01, 2021, 10:09:45 PM »
The Government's Coalition Agreement specified setting up a bipartisan Senäts committee to discuss possible changes to Talossa's electoral system. That was the responsibility of the Attorney-General, who is on extended leave; the Deputy Attorney-General has not yet stepped up to announce whether he's keen to take that over or not.

With that in mind, I was just reminded of my post from last year suggesting an Electoral Reform for Cosă elections which would work well with any number of Cosă seats, whether 15 or the current 200. The tradeoff is: a "realler" Cosă means an effective "threshold", beneath which the smallest parties would get no seats. It is up to the Ziu as a whole to decide whether any threshold is appropriate.

The principles are:

  • A "circular" party list. Seats would now be allocated automatically by the SoS, one each to every candidate on the list, in order, and when the list comes to an end, it begins again from the beginning. Example: a party which has 5 members on the list but wins 8 seats would end up giving 2 seats to the first 3 people on the list, and 1 to everyone else. The effective change here is that it would no longer be up to party leaders to give a big chunk of seats to some MCs and maybe only 1 to others; all MCs, plus or minus 1 seat, would be equal.
  • The current "1/3 allocations off list" would be changed to "a party may add 1/3 extra members, rounded up, to its list after the election". If your original list had 5 people on it you could add another 2 later. If you only had 1 person on your list, you could only add 1 later.
  • Existing provisions barring MCs from individually holding more than x% of the Cosa would still exist, meaning there would be a limit to how many seats could be held by a 1-person party.
  • Seats would be allocated by a rounding system known as Largest Remainder Method with a Hare quota, which is essentially the status quo.
  • The basic idea is for a 15 seat Cosa, which would mean that - based on the votes from the last election - a party would need 6 votes to guarantee a Cosă seat, though depending on other results, they could possibly win one with 3 votes. If this threshold is considered too stringent, the model would work well with more MCs. If one or more parties were "tied" for the last seat, they would all get a seat and thus the Cosa would be slightly expanded.

Draft legislation:

Amendments to OrgLaw IV

Quote
Section 1 The Cosa is the national legislative assembly, and is composed of a number of seats apportioned among political parties based on their performance in the General Election. This number shall be twice the number of Senators, minus one, or a greater number than this designated by law, except that no change in the size of the Cosă shall take effect until the next General Election. The Coså may administer itself as it sees fit.

Section 4 Vacant seats occurring between elections shall be filled in accordance with law.

Amendment to El Lexhatx B.2.3

Quote
      2.3 The ballot must also include, for each party contesting the election, a ranked list of citizens to whom the party intends to award Cosa seats. If a party does not submit a candidate list to the Secretary of State before the election, the party leader shall be considered the only person on that party's list.

2.3.1. Pursuant to Organic Law IV.2, the Secretary of State shall apportion seats to parties on the basis of their vote totals by use of the Largest Remainder Method, using a Hare quota (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Largest_remainder_method).

2.3.1.1. If one or more parties are "tied" for the last seat or several seats, then the Secretary of State shall be entitled to assign one seat to all of the said parties and therefore to temporarily expand the size of the Cosa to more than the number otherwise set by law.

        2.3.2. Up until 10 days after the opening of the First Clark, a party leader may amend their list by adding names to it, in ranked order after the original names. The maximum number of names that may be added is 50% of the number of names originally on the list, rounded up.

2.3.3. After all lists are finalised and before the conclusion of the First Clark, the Secretary of State shall announce the distribution of each parties' seats as follows:

2.3.3.1. One seat will be given to each candidate on the list, in ranked order.

2.3.3.2. If all members on the list have received a seat and there are still additional seats, the process in 2.3.2.1 shall be repeated until no more seats are available.

2.3.3.3. If any person assigned a seat as above either
- already has the maximum number of Cosă seats allowable;
- declines their seat(s);
these seats will be reallocated according to the criteria above. 

2.3.3.4 If a party cannot assign all of their seats under the criteria above, the additional seats are forfeited.

2.3.4. Any vacant seats occurring between elections shall be reassigned according to the procedure in 2.3.3 above.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2021, 01:21:05 AM by Miestră Schivă, UrN »

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Talossa. Ask me anything.
JOIN THE FREE DEMOCRATS OF TALOSSA - ask me how!

"IS INACTIVITY BAD? I THINK NOT!" - Lord Hooligan

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

  • Prime Minister
  • Citizen
  • Posts: 881
  • Large and In Charge
    • Talossan since: 2004-06-12

    • View Profile
    • Free Democrats of Talossa
Re: Real Cosă 2021
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2021, 10:12:54 PM »
Calculations using the last election's numbers

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Talossa. Ask me anything.
JOIN THE FREE DEMOCRATS OF TALOSSA - ask me how!

"IS INACTIVITY BAD? I THINK NOT!" - Lord Hooligan

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

  • Prime Minister
  • Citizen
  • Posts: 881
  • Large and In Charge
    • Talossan since: 2004-06-12

    • View Profile
    • Free Democrats of Talossa
Re: Real Cosă 2021
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2021, 11:14:42 PM »
Check out this hypothetical result where a party with 3 votes still manages to get a seat in a 15-member Cosa (it doesn't work for only 2 votes, I checked)

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Talossa. Ask me anything.
JOIN THE FREE DEMOCRATS OF TALOSSA - ask me how!

"IS INACTIVITY BAD? I THINK NOT!" - Lord Hooligan

Offline Açafat del Val

  • Citizen
  • Posts: 298
  • Senator for Florencia
    • View Profile
Re: Real Cosă 2021
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2021, 02:32:37 PM »
My two cents:

We should maintain the status quo exactly as it is, or we should have a 15-member Cosa where one member holds exactly one seat.

There is great value, I think, in having a system as we do where very small parties can still gain representation in our legislature. To make it otherwise is to exclude citizens who deserve to be involved with the lawmaking process. Principles 1, 2, and 3 could be enacted, I concede, under the status quo; I resist them only because I think that it is fair currently if more active MZs are awarded with larger shares of the seats.

On the other hand, if we reduce the Cosa seats to 15, then we should just commit fully to the idea: one member, one seat. To make that work, though, we would have to abandon the perfectly proportional seat allocation that we have now and replace it with electoral districts. Is Talossa ready for that? And wouldn't that conflict too much with provincial Senators? We could try the mixed-member proportional (MMP) system that the German Bundestag and, poignantly, the New Zealand House of Representatives use, but how much of these new constituencies would overlap fairly or unfairly with the provinces? Imagine a scenario where Talossa all but implodes on itself because the new constituencies gave some (un)fair advantage to a particular political party.

I am basically articulating that the status quo should remain, or we go all in for a unicameral Ziu with 15-20 seats using MMP. Everything else feels like a broken half-measure compromise that creates more problems than solves.
Cheers,

AdV
Senator for Florencia
Jolly Good Fellow of the Royal Talossan College of Arms

Offline Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial

  • Citizen
  • Posts: 151
  • Batetz las maes, perf. — Freelance glheþineir
    • Talossan since: 12. Mai dallas 2014/XXXV

    • View Profile
Re: Real Cosă 2021
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2021, 07:41:09 PM »
On the other hand, if we reduce the Cosa seats to 15, then we should just commit fully to the idea: one member, one seat. To make that work, though, we would have to abandon the perfectly proportional seat allocation that we have now and replace it with electoral districts. Is Talossa ready for that? And wouldn't that conflict too much with provincial Senators? We could try the mixed-member proportional (MMP) system that the German Bundestag and, poignantly, the New Zealand House of Representatives use, but how much of these new constituencies would overlap fairly or unfairly with the provinces? Imagine a scenario where Talossa all but implodes on itself because the new constituencies gave some (un)fair advantage to a particular political party.

This is a strange leap in logic. Why would reducing the number of Cosa seats from 200 to 15 necessitate any kind of districting system at all? Nothing would stop us from continuing to use closed list proportional voting.

Besides, if we were to adopt MMP, proportionality would be unaffected; thats the point of MMP after all (at least the German kind, the Kiwis havent adopted levelling seats yet...).
Editing posts is my thing. My bad.
Feel free to PM me if you have a Glheþ translation request!

<Recommendations on the Talossan Language (WIP grammar)>
<L'Översteir>

Offline Açafat del Val

  • Citizen
  • Posts: 298
  • Senator for Florencia
    • View Profile
Re: Real Cosă 2021
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2021, 02:18:55 PM »
MMP requires constituencies. That's the whole point of "mixed-member" in "mixed-member proportional".

If we had a closed-list proportional system but only 15 seats, like is being suggested, then we run into the problem that was already pointed out: small parties get shut out. By creating constituencies we ensure the possibility that smaller parties still get a fair crack at gaining seats.

But again:

Quote
Is Talossa ready for that? And wouldn't that conflict too much with provincial Senators?

I would never want to see Talossa become a nation of two parties. We're already almost there. We should do every effort to make the Cosa accessible, so that "everyday citizens" can enjoy a meaningful role in the lawmaking process.

If you take that as the highest priority/principle, as I do, then a 15-member Cosa with closed-list PR is a really bad idea.

So, again:

Quote
I am basically articulating that the status quo should remain, or we go all in for a unicameral Ziu with 15-20 seats using MMP. Everything else feels like a broken half-measure compromise that creates more problems than solves.
Cheers,

AdV
Senator for Florencia
Jolly Good Fellow of the Royal Talossan College of Arms

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

  • Prime Minister
  • Citizen
  • Posts: 881
  • Large and In Charge
    • Talossan since: 2004-06-12

    • View Profile
    • Free Democrats of Talossa
Re: Real Cosă 2021
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2021, 02:24:22 PM »
In an MMP system, the constituencies would be the provinces. 8 Provincial MPs, 7-12 party list seats. Why make it more complicated?

Big issue is getting 5 Senators to vote themselves out of existence, lol

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Talossa. Ask me anything.
JOIN THE FREE DEMOCRATS OF TALOSSA - ask me how!

"IS INACTIVITY BAD? I THINK NOT!" - Lord Hooligan

Offline Açafat del Val

  • Citizen
  • Posts: 298
  • Senator for Florencia
    • View Profile
Re: Real Cosă 2021
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2021, 02:36:43 PM »
Doesn't have to be more complicated, but even there you implied a unicameral Ziu. That's a big change for Talossa.
Cheers,

AdV
Senator for Florencia
Jolly Good Fellow of the Royal Talossan College of Arms

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

  • Rexhaint d'Ian Regeu/Regent for King John
  • Citizen
  • Posts: 545
  • CONSISTE ET COGITA
    • Talossan since: 6-9-2006

    • View Profile
Re: Real Cosă 2021
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2021, 05:36:04 PM »
I would never want to see Talossa become a nation of two parties. We're already almost there. We should do every effort to make the Cosa accessible, so that "everyday citizens" can enjoy a meaningful role in the lawmaking process.

If you take that as the highest priority/principle, as I do, then a 15-member Cosa with closed-list PR is a really bad idea.
I profoundly agree.  One of the best things about Talossa is that we let as many people as possible participate in real legislating and decision-making.  Indeed, if we want political diversity and growth, then shrinking the Cosa to exclude more people seems like the very last thing we should be doing.  Fascinating side-note: this does fit with the micromega rule of political theory, which suggests that larger parties tend to prefer shifting to governments with smaller representative bodies (which exclude potential competition and which shift real decision-making to the party governance).

This proposal seems as though it would directly conflict with one of the highest ideals of Talossa.  Why would we want to do this?
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

  • Prime Minister
  • Citizen
  • Posts: 881
  • Large and In Charge
    • Talossan since: 2004-06-12

    • View Profile
    • Free Democrats of Talossa
Re: Real Cosă 2021
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2021, 05:38:39 PM »
Current membership of the Cosa: 12
Membership of the Cosa under my proposal: 15

Fairy tales about "shrinking the Cosa" are smears deliberately designed to upset and annoy.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2021, 05:53:06 PM by Miestră Schivă, UrN »

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Talossa. Ask me anything.
JOIN THE FREE DEMOCRATS OF TALOSSA - ask me how!

"IS INACTIVITY BAD? I THINK NOT!" - Lord Hooligan

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

  • Rexhaint d'Ian Regeu/Regent for King John
  • Citizen
  • Posts: 545
  • CONSISTE ET COGITA
    • Talossan since: 6-9-2006

    • View Profile
Re: Real Cosă 2021
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2021, 06:07:17 PM »
Fairy tales about "shrinking the Cosa" are smears deliberately designed to upset and annoy.

Someone seems to have hacked your account, then.

The basic idea is for a 15 seat Cosa, which would mean that - based on the votes from the last election - a party would need 6 votes to guarantee a Cosă seat

It would be much harder for a new party to get representation in the Cosa under your plan.  That effect would exclude new smaller parties and raise the threshold to compete with larger existing parties, such as the one you lead.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2021, 06:09:04 PM by Sir Alexandreu Davinescu »
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

  • Prime Minister
  • Citizen
  • Posts: 881
  • Large and In Charge
    • Talossan since: 2004-06-12

    • View Profile
    • Free Democrats of Talossa
Re: Real Cosă 2021
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2021, 06:24:00 PM »
^^^ Regent attempts to argue that 12 > 15  :o

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Talossa. Ask me anything.
JOIN THE FREE DEMOCRATS OF TALOSSA - ask me how!

"IS INACTIVITY BAD? I THINK NOT!" - Lord Hooligan

Offline Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial

  • Citizen
  • Posts: 151
  • Batetz las maes, perf. — Freelance glheþineir
    • Talossan since: 12. Mai dallas 2014/XXXV

    • View Profile
Re: Real Cosă 2021
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2021, 06:41:01 PM »
MMP requires constituencies. That's the whole point of "mixed-member" in "mixed-member proportional".
You might not know this, but I live in Germany, so I already knew beforehand how the voting system here works, thanks. I even learnt that in school and everything. My point was that MMP wasnt necessary to shrink the Cosa. Speaking of which:

Quote
If we had a closed-list proportional system but only 15 seats, like is being suggested, then we run into the problem that was already pointed out: small parties get shut out. By creating constituencies we ensure the possibility that smaller parties still get a fair crack at gaining seats.
Speaking from personal experience (since again I witness the effects of MMP at least a few times per year), it is MUCH more difficult for small parties to win constituency seats than list seats, its FPTP. You can look up maps of constituency seat winners and youll see instantly that the big parties will win way more than their fair share every time. It only works as you intended if small parties are big on local levels, but looking at election results in Talossa, this doesnt seem to be the case.

Quote
I would never want to see Talossa become a nation of two parties. We're already almost there. We should do every effort to make the Cosa accessible, so that "everyday citizens" can enjoy a meaningful role in the lawmaking process.
...proportional systems do not lead to two-party systems, unless the number of seats was somewhere in the lower single digits. Thankfully no one is arguing for that.

Quote
I am basically articulating that the status quo should remain, or we go all in for a unicameral Ziu with 15-20 seats using MMP. Everything else feels like a broken half-measure compromise that creates more problems than solves.

Since you seem to think having more voters than Cosa seats is generally a bad idea, at the VERY least we could make the two numbers the same instead? Its not my first choice, having one seat per MC and local representation in the Cosa is a much more fun (there I said it) and realistic (there I said it again) system in my opinion, but hey, having one voter = one seat would still almost halve the number of seats in the Cosa, *and* the result would always be truly perfectly proportional since you wont have any rounding errors!
« Last Edit: January 03, 2021, 06:54:10 PM by Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial »
Editing posts is my thing. My bad.
Feel free to PM me if you have a Glheþ translation request!

<Recommendations on the Talossan Language (WIP grammar)>
<L'Översteir>

Offline Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial

  • Citizen
  • Posts: 151
  • Batetz las maes, perf. — Freelance glheþineir
    • Talossan since: 12. Mai dallas 2014/XXXV

    • View Profile
Re: Real Cosă 2021
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2021, 07:18:33 PM »
Just for the record:

My ideal Real Cosa would have 20* seats, with ten of them being constituency seats and the other ten being list seats. Each province would correspond to one constituency seat, except Benito and Florencia which would correspond to two each instead due to their population size.

20* seats specifically because it would be conveniently exactly a tenth of the status quo, and youd roughly need 3 votes to get a shot at a list seat which IMO is reasonable. Its not very hard to get 1 or 2 people besides yourself to vote for your one man party, in fact, small parties surpass this hurdle all the time. The asterisks here are supposed to mean that 20 should be understood as the minimum number. Overhang and levelling seats are regular occurances, so wed have to be ready to have Cosas with more than 20 seats pretty often.

The 10-10 split instead of the perhaps less convoluted 8-12 split is me copypasting the German system pretty much: here, the split is half-half as well so it just makes the most sense to me.

I should mention that this idea is somewhat of a pet project of mine, together with dals cosăs glheþeascăs. Ive been thinking about a possible MMP Real Cosa for a while so Ive had the time to consider all possible edge cases (I didnt elaborate on them at all here because itd be a long, technical rundown of what could happen and how to resolve possible issues and typing essays on my phone in the middle of the night isnt my forte), but I had shelved the whole thing until now because I wasnt sure if Talossa right now would be active enough to fill a 20*-seat assembly at all without repeats (plus maybe keeping the Senäts, I dont care if the Ziu was unicameral under this arrangement or not). Im still not sure if activity levels are high enough but I wasnt the first one to bring this up again and I just couldnt stay silent about this. I hope thats okay with everyone.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2021, 07:49:42 PM by Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial »
Editing posts is my thing. My bad.
Feel free to PM me if you have a Glheþ translation request!

<Recommendations on the Talossan Language (WIP grammar)>
<L'Översteir>

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

  • Prime Minister
  • Citizen
  • Posts: 881
  • Large and In Charge
    • Talossan since: 2004-06-12

    • View Profile
    • Free Democrats of Talossa
Re: Real Cosă 2021
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2021, 07:49:44 PM »
New Zealand doesn't have a 50/50 split. Out of a 120-seat Parliament, the South Island general (non-Māori) roll gets 16 MPs, and the North Island general roll and the nationwide Māori roll get proportionate figures (49 and 7 respectively) = 72 district MPs, 48 party list MPs.

I don't see any good reason why we need a 50/50 split; all we need is enough party list seats to make sure overhangs don't happen very often. The obvious 8 constituencies are the 8 provinces.

Anyway, kudos for dealing with the question of the threshold. The whole question is whether there should be a threshold, not "shrinking the Cosa". The reason why party lists were brought in was not to keep people out of the Cosa, it was to reduce the power of big parties to perpetuate their power via patronage (giving rank newbies seats thus buying their loyalty). There are currently 20 MZs in total and I have no interest in shrinking that number.

For all the talk about the glorious Talossan tradition of 1 person parties, we haven't had any of those for (*quick check*) miéida sant, since before Reunision. Even in the glorious days of the "blank cheque" ballot and RUMP dominance. We've had a few 2 person parties since then, of course, so that's the effective threshold that the popular will itself has imposed. Let's use that as our starting point.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2021, 07:56:09 PM by Miestră Schivă, UrN »

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Talossa. Ask me anything.
JOIN THE FREE DEMOCRATS OF TALOSSA - ask me how!

"IS INACTIVITY BAD? I THINK NOT!" - Lord Hooligan