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Krall-Pkmatrix Parliamentary Reform Bill
Following the Crisis of 2008, Parliament remained inactive for many months. In January 2009, several bills were proposed in an effort to re-energize AH.com Politics. This bill began as an attempt to put the entire chapter in the past and elect a new government early, but soon evolved into a general reform bill that promises to expand the size of parliament, rename the lower house, and set a specific date for the General Elections.
On January 27, 2009, Minister of Bismarckian Artefacts Krall suggested a new bill “to the effect of the the immediate dissolution and re-election of the government” and began a search for a co-sponsor. President Sargon rejected such a move, “Well, I suppose I'm stating the obvious when I say I'd rather not. We just need to get MPs back in here doing things and then government can get back to business.” TheDarkServant (E) agreed with the President: “No, dissolution of government at this point is not advisory, as it would just cause confusion in future. It's best to just keep doing what we are already and acting sensibly.” Krall held to his position: “How would it cause confusion? All we really need to do is change the date of the election, simple and easy.”
LordInsane (E) suggested expanding the Parliament instead: “It might, at the very least, be advisable to fulfil one of Evil's pre-election promises before announcing new elections, namely that of expanding the seats in Parliament.” Krall approved of this and asked “How many do you think will be enough? 20?” LordInsane (E) suggested that a committee be formed to consider the question, “I would not be opposed, but it certainly would appear to be a matter that merits serious discussion.” Krall agreed to further discussion, “If it merits serious discussion then let's seriously discuss it. In retrospect 21 would probably be a better number in order to avoid the government and the opposition having the exact same number of votes. Alternatively 25 would make it easier to calculate who gets how many seats, but I don't think we'll be able to fill that many seats.” LordInsane (E) replied: “Hung coalitions are certainly a possibility- indeed, they have occured, altough not in this Parliament- and taking action by expanding Parliament would seem logical- for the next election, that is.”
On January 28, Former Minister of Oblique Comments fortyseven suggested that Parliament could hold the Landsraad elections. Krall at last presented a draft of his bill proposal, calling for General Elections to be moved up to the second Saturday in February, reaffirming that Parliament has two houses, naming the lower house of Parliament the “Diet of AH.com”, and expanding the size of the lower house from 15 to 20 seats. He once again called for another cabinet member or MP to co-sponsor the bill. Minister of Vengeance maverick suggested that debate be suspended until more MPs returned: “I'd also note that we're talking about expanding a parliament which already lacks the presence of most MPs… Henceforth, proposed reform should not be discussed until parliament is once again functioning…”
Pkmatrix (YSP) disagreed with maverick and continued to debate Krall's bill, announcing opposition to changing the General Election date from August to February, questioning whether expanding the lower house by 5 seats may be too large an expansion, and suggesting naming the lower house the “Assembly of AH.com” rather than “Diet”. Krall defended Section 1: “Section 1 is there in order to bring this entirely inactive and unproductive session of Parliament to a close, and begin the election of a new Parliament in a short time.” He also explained his reasoning for naming the lower house “Diet”: “I just don't want one house being called the Parliament, as the term correctly refers to the entire legislature, not one house. I went for Diet due to its links to the Reichstag of the HRE, which seemed appropriate for AH.com.” Finally, he relented on the number of seats to add, suggesting either 2 or 4: “We need an odd number so that no party or coalition of parties can ever hold exactly 50% of the vote, and so cause a situation where a bill is neither passed nor rejected.”
Pkmatrix (YSP) disputed Krall's claim that this session of Parliament was unproductive, citing the legislative record: “Six acts and resolutions passed (twice as many as the 2nd Parliament and six times as many as the 1st!), two large expansions of His Administratorness' Government (the Imperial Bank and the Landsraad), as well as the passage of some specific legislative procedures. That's way more productive than Parliament ever was in the past!” Pkmatrix (YSP) relented on the name of the lower house and agreed to name it the “Diet of AH.com” and also agreed with the suggestion for expanding the lower house by two seats. Finally, he agreed to sponsor Krall's bill.
Pkmatrix (YSP) submitted the revised bill, now titled the “Krall-Pkmatrix Parliamentary Reform Bill”, for Parliament's consideration on January 31, calling for the lower house to be named the “Diet of AH.com”, for the lower house to be expanded from 15 to 17 members, cementing Parliamentary and Presidential elections to August 1, and setting elections for temporary members of the Landsraad on February 15.
On February 1, Susano (FFF) spoke out against the bill: “I oppose it on fundamental grounds, since Im opposed to raising the number of MPs, and additionally, I see no reason to have this bill be superseding the Landsraad Bill - section 1 is absolutely superfluous.”
Proposed Text of Legislation
That the date for general elections of the AH.com Government shall be moved to the second saturday in Feburary.
That the Parliament shall from now on consist of two houses. The upper house is the Landsraad and the lower house shall be the Diet of AH.com.
That the Diet shall have 20 seats.
Current Proposed Text of Legislation
The Parliament of AH.com shall henceforth be a bicameral legislature. The upper house of this legislature shall be the Landsraad of AH.com, as defined by the Landsraad Act of 2008. The existing representative body shall be the lower house and titled the Diet of AH.com.
The Diet of AH.com shall consist of 17 representatives, elected by the members of AH.com.
Elections for all members of Parliament shall be held annually on August 1.
Elections for the President of AH.com shall be held annually on August 1.
August 1 shall henceforth be declared General Election Day.
Elections for temporary members of the Landsraad of AH.com shall be held on February 15, 2009. The terms of these members shall end upon the election of the first full members on General Election Day, 2009.
Voting on this bill began on January 31, 2009 and will end on February 7, 2009.
Pkmatrix (YSP), LordInsane (E), Steffen (FFF), TheDarkServant (E), and VulcanTrekkie45 (YSP) voted IN FAVOR.
Susano (FFF) voted against.
LightInfa (E), Ran Exilis (E), Haggis (E), Gladi (E), Demosthenes (E), Keenir (E), 09camaro (E), Opposition Leader Kidblast (YSP), Nekromans (YSP), and Acting Prime Minister Douglas did not vote.
Voting ended at 10:02 AM on February 7, 2009 with 5 votes in favor, 1 against, and 9 votes abstaining. Although the bill received the necessary support to enter an expedited passing under Article I of the Legislative Procedures Act, Susano's vote against invalidated it. Thus, unable to receive the additional three votes necessary, the bill failed to pass.