Table of Contents
Parliament Special Elections Bill of 2009
Following the Crisis of 2008, some called for the dissolution of the 2008 Parliament followed by new elections. Susano of the Federalist Federation of Federalists became increasingly vocal on this issue over time, before eventually proposing this bill. If passed, new elections for the Lower House of Parliament would be held in March of 2009.
On January 27, 2009, Minister of Bismarckian Artefacts Krall (E) queried members of Parliament for interest in co-sponsoring a new bill which would immediately dissolve Parliament and set new elections. The proposal was seen by some as being too drastic by some members of the government, including President Sargon. Debate over his proposal eventually went on to become the Krall-Pkmatrix Parliamentary Reform Bill, the final draft of which had excised the proposed Lower House elections.
On February 1, Susano (FFF) voted against the Krall-Pkmatrix Parliamentary Reform Bill, asserting that not holding new Lower House elections after the Crisis of 2008 was “in bad taste”. After their bill was declared “Failed” on February 8, Pkmatrix (YSP) joined the call for a recall election of the Lower House while Krall admitted he was “still in favour of wiping the slate clean and starting again with this whole government malarkey”.
On February 13, President Sargon announced that he had contacted the Electoral Officer, Douglas, “as the matter of elections concerns him,” and that “he should be here to make his views known on [the call for recall elections]”. On February 14, Douglas said “If you want to hold these elections, feel free to do so,”, but added that he would need to resign as Electoral Officer and Acting Prime Minister in the event of immediate recall elections.
In response to Douglas' announcement, on February 14 Susano (FFF) insisted on the importance of holding Parliamentary - as well as Presidential - elections as soon as possible. The call for early Presidential elections was questioned by Pkmatrix (YSP), but Susano (FFF) reasoned that it was necessary in order to keep the elections uniform. Later that day, Susano (FFF) proposed a draft of the “Parliament Special Elections Bill of 2009”.
Learning of Douglas' announcement, President Sargon suggested: “I'd like to avoid Diet elections for the time being as it would be a shame to lose Doug as Electoral Officer, and MPs should have the good sense to turn up and carry out their duties anyway. The solution I propose for the Diet is for parties to issue warnings (a three line whip if you will) to their MPs who are not turning up setting them a reasonable deadline to do so, and if they do not then having internal votes to select new MPs to take their place from their membership. The advantage of this would also mean that Douglas would not have to resign as the parties would only be sorting out the seats they currently already have in Parliament. Diet elections could then take place as normal in August.”
Susano (FFF) responded: “Well, tahst why it are three different bills. At the minimum there should be Landsraad elections now, so we finally have this body. At best there are also Parliament elections, to combat the slump. And, to adress uniformity of election dates, there can also be Presidential elections. Its perfectly possible to vote YEA-YEA-NAY or YEA-NAY-NAY, for example…”
President Sargon said, “I have no problem sending the warnings if we can agree on a date that gives all MPs reasonable time to read the PMs (assuming they may be away) and that they should present themselves here for. Failure to present themselves at that time, will result in them being deemed as having resigned and internal party elections occur to fill the seats of those who fail to turn up. The Diet can then get working again and Elections to it would happen as usual in August. I think this is a workable proposal that can solve the impasse without putting Doug in a position where he feels he has to resign,” and definitely stated his position on the issue: “Nay for Diet elections since we can follow the plan above to resolve the problem of MPs not turning up to get things going.”
Pkmatrix (YSP), TheDarkServant (E), and LordInsane (E) all agreed with Sargon and supported the President's proposal.
Susano (FFF), though, opposed: “Nonono! Elected MPs are ELECTED. Doesn't matter if via list or district. If they don't step back they cannot be recalled. This is so in every country using proportional representation - yes, the parties more or less appoint the MPs, but once elected, they're elected.”
After considering, LordInsane (E) was forced to agree, but also said, “However, I believe Parliament should have the power to force an MP to step down, within limits. Some mechanism for removing MPs that have abused their office would appear to be needed- a MP that not only participated, but led a coup against Parliament might be seen as having rescinded his rights to that post, but more limited crimes could raise doubts, as well.”
Despite Susano's protest, though, President Sargon stood fast: “Well, I have put forward a solution to try and sort this out without forcing the Electoral Officer to resign. Landsraad Elections will take place soon and Diet elections will go ahead as normal in August. It's not a bad compromise. No one loses anything this way, and it is a sensible and quick way to solve the impasse we have here. If there are people who don't like it then I'm sorry. I am trying to be helpful and reasonable here.”
“I just vehemently disagree the party has any power to discipline MPs by replacing them from Parliament,” Susano replied. “They simply don't have that power, end of story, and Parliament couldn't even make a law saying so - not for this Parliament anyways, only at best for the next. These MPs are elected, with no conditions attached, and hence elected they will stay. Anything else would be a severe constitutional breach.”
Sargon agreed that the proposal was not ideal and would rather that MPs would simply return to Parliament, but at least hoped that MPs would respond to Private Messages.
Proposed Text of Legislation
1. Be it resolved that Parliament will dissolve itself on 8th March 2009, and that on this day new elections shall be held for Parliament, according to the traditional election modus.
2. Be it further resolved that specifically for this election the President can at any time appoint a new Electoral Officer.
3. Be it further resolved that, should there be no Electoral Officer on Election Day, the President itself can take over the role for specifically the election of the Parliament.
4. Be it further resolved that should there neither be an Electoral Officer on Election Day, nor the President present, any MP can start the elections, and is then automatically considered Electorial Officer for specifically this election.
Voting on this bill began on February 18, 2009 and closed on February 25, 2009.
Susano (FFF) has voted in favor.
Pkmatrix (YSP), VulcanTrekkie45 (YSP), 09camaro (E), Prime Minister TheDarkServant (E), Deputy Prime Minister LordInsane (E) and Keenir (E) have voted against.
LightInfa (E), Steffen (FFF), Ran Exilis (E), Haggis (E), Gladi (E), Demosthenes (E), Opposition Leader Kidblast (YSP), and Nekromans (YSP) did not vote.
Thus, the bill failed to pass with 1 AYE, 6 NAYS, and 8 MPs not voting.