[2238.AB] Amendment to the Charter, Section IV, Clause 2

Greetings. I propose the following amendment to the Charter, Section IV (The Assembly), Clause 2.

(2) The Assembly will elect a legislator as Chair for life, or until impeachment or resignation for a term lasting four months. The Chair is responsible for maintaining order and decorum, and helping guide Assembly debate into the creation of bills. If a Chair is recalled, loses legislator status, or is otherwise not in office, a new Chair will be elected for a new term lasting four months. The date, time, and manner of electing the Chair will be set by the Assembly in a law.

Our last election saw the incumbent run unopposed, after it was discovered that the election was missed by a month. Nobody noticed until one legislator realized that the timetables, which do not align with elections in the rest of the Coalition, had already passed. I see no reason to continue this additional bureaucratic requirement for an administrative position.

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To describe it as a purely administrative role is not accurate. It is also the role of the ceremonial head of the Assembly.

No one is going to be on NationStates for life. I feel like this would put more pressure on the Chair, and make it less likely for people to run for it

Well, usually the status quo here is for someone to get elected and then resign after 2 weeks /s

But, I don’t see any issues with this. If I wanted to be Chair I could just ask to be a Deputy Chair and then when the Chair inevitably retires I may get the spot. I know but muh democracy but I don’t see someone serving as Chair for more than a year even without routine elections.

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The Speakers of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons and the United States’ House of Representatives both serve at the pleasure of their respective legislative assemblies. In the absence of an elected legislature with defined terms and sessions, this amendment would essentially serve a similar purpose.

In NationStates, serving in a position “for life” generally just means staying in that role until resignation or recall. The Chief Justice, for example, serves for life.

Even if they only served for a year, that would mean we did not have to conduct two additional elections in that span of time. One of my motivations for proposing this amendment was to try to shrink some of our bureaucracy.

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My concern is that this will easily lead to players serving for way longer than they can reasonably handle, leading to Chairs disappearing and the Assembly having to recall them (cough definitely not speaking from personal experience at all cough). While this seems like the system working as intended, the problem is that I think many legislators are reluctant to recall officials, which will lead to several weeks of stalling while legislators just wait to see if the Chair comes back. On the other hand, if the only option is recall rather than waiting for a new election, perhaps legislators will be more willing to recall Chairs, which will nullify this problem.

I’m haven’t really formed a strong opinion on this amendment yet, but I just wanted to get this thought out there.

Maybe if elections happen less often like every 6 or even 8 months instead.

Yes, the only option would be a recall of the Chair, their resignation, or their otherwise not holding the office.

If we extend the term out, instead of forgoing regular elections altogether, it would still present us with the same issue now, just less frequently.

Full support, completely objectively of course and definitely not noticing certain influence in this proposal. I would only recommend rephrasing “for life” to “indefinitely”.
I think I’ve provided arguments in favor of this enough on the old forums already but alas I’ll repeat a summary of them;

-The Chair is one of the few “politically neutral” positions in TSP, the other one being the Delegate. However, The Chair is merely a replica of a RL Speaker of the Assembly, which is very far from being as reputable as the replica of RL Head of State.
-The Chairs’ duties are very specific. Look at the past 2 years of Chairs, they’ve always been inherited by the outgoing Chairs’ Deputy or similar subordinate. This is because a certain “vetting” process is required in order for The Chair to coordinate themselves well enough as to efficiently complete their duties.
-If the Chair is not completing their tasks dutifully, the Assembly still holds the power to recall them.

If this doesn’t pass it can be an alternative so that it’s at least better than the current situation.

I’ve been looking for the wording in how long the Associate Justices of the High Court serve, but I was unable to find anything on the subject. This leads me to the following modification removing the length of the term altogether, as well as adding “of the Assembly” to the phrasing. I am also replacing “a” with “the” and adding "resigns, " in the third sentence.

(2) The Assembly will elect a legislator as Chair of the Assembly for a term lasting four months. The Chair is responsible for maintaining order and decorum, and helping guide Assembly debate into the creation of bills. If the a Chair is recalled, resigns, loses legislator status, or is otherwise not in office, a new Chair will be elected for a new term lasting four months. The date, time, and manner of electing the Chair will be set by the Assembly in a law.

I’m mulling rewriting the entire section, but that might be more work than it’s worth.

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This is an interesting idea. And I’m not too sure if I agree with it.

Very good proposal for an “apolitical” role like this

Yeah that works. The issue with adding phrases like “for life” and “indefinitely” is that it makes the proposal off-putting to more status-quo leaning legislators. (Speaking from experience).

What in particular do you take issue with?

That’s fair. I was on the fence on either option, or leaving it off entirely, but seeing the precedence that has been set with the High Court is enough.


I like elections, that’s why I mainly don’t agree. It also opens the opportunity for new chairs and experts in the field.

Along with this, we could introduce a challenge system, which would allow for quicker replacement of inactive Chairs (you would only need the time it takes to run an election, rather than the time for recall+election) or the introduction of new ideas. A downside is of course frivolous challenges.

(I’m not sold on any idea yet but this was just a thought.)

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Is there a need for experts in the field? The only real actions the Chair takes is maintenance of the MATT-DUCK Law Archive, opening and closing votes, and keeping a roster of legislators. That doesn’t really require a lot of overhead once the basic formatting for those posts are established.

I’m not as sold on the concept of a challenge system for this post, for the same reasons I listed above. The Chair is not a political role like it once was, and the additional time spent in a recall does not gum up the Assembly’s machine as much as it might have once. The Legislator Committee can maintain the roll of legislators, as the law does not explicitly charge the Chair with these duties, and any legislator can take over the duties of bringing a motion to vote.

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“Well actually, other people can just do the Chair’s job for them” doesn’t sound like a great recipe for getting a permanently elected official to do their job :stuck_out_tongue:

That’s my interpretation of the current law. We can introduce more changes, but I have faith in our current Chair to continue their job if they choose to.