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offtopic:2008_parliament_reform

Parliamentary Reform Bill of 2008

Overview

Calls for reform of His Administratorness' Government are not new - in fact, the first bill ever debated by Parliament concerned election reform - but few have proposed such sweeping changes as the Parliament Reform Bill of 2008. The bill was originally created to be a bipartisan replacement for the controversial Judiciary Bill, but replaced that bill's proposal for a separate judiciary with expanded powers for Parliament.

History

Deputy Prime Minister Demosthenes (E) and Pkmatrix (YSP) introduced the bill on August 16, 2008.

On August 23, Steffen (FFF) announced he had numerous objections to elements of the bill. In Article 2, he didn't see a need for special procedures to fast-track bills. “If a bill is such a commonplace idea it will leave the committee stage as fast.” He also felt Article 2 Section 5 “was even more obscure” and gave “the inflated executive a tool to bypass parliamentary procedures.” Demosthenes agreed to remove Article 2 Section 5 from the proposed bill.

Steffen (FFF) objected to Article 3, likening it to a Swiss Navy Ministry, and outright rejected Article 5 Section 3 Paragraph D, arguing: “Expulsion from the cabinet can´t be a right of the parliament, as the cabinet members aren´t appointed through it. Furthermore, the Ah.com MP has his mandate from the vote of the ah.com community, so his membership can´t be retracted by his parliamentary peers.” Demosthenes disagreed on Article 3, stating: “Our largest Cabinet Over-Agency is the Armed Forces ministers, so we need a way to organize their affairs in parliament.” In regards to Article 5 Section 2: “If an MP commits a major problem, or gets banned on the forums or whatnot, they should not be allowed to remain in Parliament.”

Finally, Steffen (FFF) objected to Article 5 Section 1, arguing that “an ethics committee shouldn´t be 'chosen', but be composed of people with trusted by the parliament; it´s a self-regulatory body” and proposed that every party nominate one member to the committee. Demosthenes replied: “See Ethics Committee of the US House and Senate. No one is completely impartial and no one is completely un-prone to persuasion, so your idea is not good. In my Ethics Committee plan, even if they propose a major action like expelling a member or suspending their voting rights for a month, it requires 10 of 15 votes, which would require a huge issue for it to pass.”

Steffen (FFF) agreed to accept “the playground affair” in Article 3, stood fast in his opposition to Article 5. He pointed out that Demosthenes' comparison to the US Congress' Ethics committees were flawed as AH.com has two opposition parties rather than just one in the US. He also rejected the impartiality argument: “Yes, and you create an institutional partisanship by two out of three appointments part of or affiliated with the government! I don´t question the quorum idea, which is good, but the committee itself should be free from influence from the government, also to follow the example of the US House and Senate committees you brought up.” He proposed that every party appoint one MP into the committee, the governing party due to it´s size two, and no MP should attend comittee meetings or vote if he´s concerned himself as the defendant. Demosthenes replied he would consent to this proposal should Susano (FFF) also support it.

In regards to Article 5 Section 2, Steffen (FFF) said: “A ban (or a kick) is a measure from the Ian from which takes precedence (naturally) over everything else. For the rest, I´m reluctant to use vocabulary like immunity or indemnity here as it might give n00bs bad ideas to abuse the parliament, but don´t see expulsion lying in the right of the parliament concerning it´s peers.”

On August 28, Demosthenes (E) withdrew the bill from consideration.

First Proposed Text of Legislation

ARTICLE ONE

Whearas the Parliament has much bussiness before us Wheras it is difficult to manage all the legislation coming into parliament Be it Resolves as thus;

ARTICLE TWO

1. Once a bill is introduced by a member, it shall be sent to a Committee. The Committee it will be sent too will be decided by the leader of the respective side the member is on. (Opposition member would ask the Opp leader which committee and a majority leader would ask Douglas which committee)

2. Upon it being sent to a committee, the members of each committee shall be informed of the bill and will thereon begin discussing it via PM.

3. Once the Committee has reached a majority decision on the bill it wishes to send to the full Parliament, the sponsor of the bill is informed and the committee leader brings the committee-approved bill to the floor.

4. From the bill being brought to the floor, regular debate shall occur along with amendments under the previous rules of Parliament.

5. In the case that the President, Prime Minister and Opposition Leader all want the bill to be passed quickly, with their joint agreement it may skip committee. B) Also, if the President, Prime Minister, and two members of cabinet want to bypass the committee, it may be done.

ARTICLE THREE The Committees

COMMITTEES and their respective JURISDICTIONS:

  • Rules Committee, on procedures and government reform
  • Forum Reform Committee, on new forum ideas and thoughts to be directed to Ian
  • Armed Services Committee, on armed forces and proposals on the reform and improvement thereof
  • Ethics Committee, on the ethics of members and cabinet ministers
  • New Commitees may be made with a new bill

COMPOSITION OF THE COMMITTEE: All committees besides the Ethics Committee will have 5 members. The EC will have three members. A Chair of the committee will be chosen for each besides the EC which will have no Chair.

There will be three majority members on a committee and two minority members. A MP may serve on a max of three committees. Cabinet ministers may serve on committees as “Advisors” but shall have no direct say in the committee's actions.

ARTICLE FOUR

1. Each Party will select the members of the committees and assign chairmanships. However, the Opposition Leader will be the Ranking Member (2nd in command) of any committee he chooses under the actual chair of that committee.

2. From the passage of this act, within 20 days, the committees must be chosen.

3. Committees may only open when legislation is reffered to them. A Special Committee may be made by another bill.

ARTICLE FIVE The Ethics Committee

1. The Ethics Committee will be made up of the Deputy Prime Minister, a minority member, and a member of the cabinet. The minority member will be chosen by the Opp Leader and the cabinet member will be chosen by the President.

2. The Committee will have the power to investigate MPs and Cabinet Members to the extend of major violations and actions unbecoming a member of parliament.

3. The Committee can refer matters to the full Parliament and reccommend A) suspension up to a month of voting priviledges; B) Loss of chairmanship of a committee; C) Censure; D) or expulsion from cabinet or Parliament.

4. Censure of an MP or Cabinet member will require only a majority vote and carries no effect beyond a slap on the wrist. Punishments A, B, or D shall require two-thirds support (10 of 15 votes).

5. The EC may from time to time issue reports under requests from parliament.

Results

Voting began on August 16, 2008 and ended with the bill's withdrawal on August 28, 2008.

Deputy Prime Minister Demosthenes (E), Pkmatrix (YSP), Gladi (E) and TheDarkServant (E) voted IN FAVOR.

09camaro (E) and LordInsane (E) voted to ABSTAIN.

Susano (FFF) and LightInfa (E) voted AGAINST.

See Also

offtopic/2008_parliament_reform.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/29 15:13 (external edit)