[2241.AB] Introducing an election challenge mechanism for the chair

After having recently noticed this amendment and because it appears to be on its way to passage, I am preemptively introducing an amendment that would allow people to challenge an incumbent chair to an election with some limitations. To be clear, I think the original amendment is ridiculous, but if we’re moving to having a chair that has the potential to sit there forever, we ought to have more ways to unseat them, and this one seems reasonable.

First draft
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Eh, I like the rationale for proposing this, but I think the reality will be that the Assembly votes FOR the election and the chair sees it as a mandate to resign, or the Assembly votes against and the challenger sees it as a mandate against them challenging.

That’s only if it happens within four months of their term.

As it stands, I would not touch this amendment with a bargepole. The wording is far too vague (what is the process for challenging to an election after 120 days? Does it just automatically go through? Why 120 days?), and seems like a strange compromise for not having scheduled elections for the Chair. I can only see this as a destabilising influence.

Why not simply extend “vote of no confidence” procedures (Section XI) to specifically include the Chair in its list of individuals who can be subjected to a vote of no confidence? Especially as they can already be subject to the 2/3 majority dismissal, this seems like a fair compromise.

There are many (more important/power-wielding) positions in The Coalition which are not subject to direct elections of The Assembly (or the “game-side”) than The Chair. From subsidiaries in a Cabinet to the CG and CRS.

A more efficient approach is to require that The Chair have 2-3 continual deputies/subsidiaries, as to ensure that when the transition does occur (recall/resign/CTE), the elections have already experienced (possible) candidates running for the position.

I would wonder if the job might not benefit from a simplification, if it’s so complex that we want deputies already in place to be elected as successors.

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Oh. Now I get it.
Honestly, never crossed my mind to take that approach instead.

tbh, what could be simplified about it? I feel like our need for Deputies is more cultural than it is an actual requirement of the job.

I agree to an extent. There isn’t much inherent difficulty to the actual job of being Chair. I would say my comment was more aimed at the particularities of how the job is done, namely things like self-designed reports that might not be that necessary or posts that go beyond the strictly necessary in terms of formatting, which in turn might make the job less accessible to those who might be motivated by the idea of presiding over the Assembly but aren’t report/formatting-inclined.

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This comment I entirely agree with.

Seeing a lack of further discussion, I motion this bill to a vote.

I feel like this bill isn’t very clear. What does it mean to challenge the Chair? What is a challenge election? How long does it last? Who runs it? Your concept is simple and is there but I don’t think you’ve ironed out the details necessary to make a law a law

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I totally see this as some form of patchwork for this unfinished boat of an amendment that’s about to sail–but I find your solution too vague to be a worthy addition, especially if it calls for the entire assembly to consider “how” and “why” they need to challenge the Chair’s position. If we are voting, then I’m voting Nay.

This bill has numerous problems.

The most glaring one, and the one that has already been pointed out by HumanSanity, is that the bill assumes the definition of the word “challenge” and thus does not explicitly require any elections and only implies the requirement for one during the 120 day period after the election of the chair. This means that one could in theory read the following clause:

to mean that an election may only be held if a challenge is submitted during the first 120 days of the chair’s term. While I do not think that this would necessarily be a fully reasonable interpretation, the law should not be written so poorly in this way as to depend on, say, the interpretation of a judge.

The elections (assuming from this point forward that we assume that challenges are allowed after the aforementioned 120 day period) are also not well defined. Is the election limited to the challenger and the incumbent? Is there a nomination period? The bill says nothing. I would assume that the election would proceed according to article 5 of the Elections Act, but who is to say?

Another issue is that there are no limits on the ability of people to challenge the office. No seconds at all are required, and there is no minimum period between challenges. In fact, the way the law is written could even be read to allow someone to challenge the office during an election. While I again do not think this would be an interpretation that would hold up the mere possibility of this exploit, which could produce an election-delaying court case, should be precluded. Less critically, the law establishes a way to “cheat” around motions of no confidence by submitting a challenge, which requires a lower threshold. In fact, one could submit multiple consecutive challenges, by submitting one, simply waiting out the Assembly vote, and then submitting another. (One could do the same after the 120 day period except that presumably it would immediately proceed to an election.)

In short, the brevity of the writing in this bill means that it ignores the specifics of procedure in ways which lead to critical flaws and exploits. If/when this comes to vote in its current form I would not vote for.

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I am withdrawing my motion to vote. When I have more time, I will be introducing revisions to this amendment that addresses the concerns brought up about the proposal.

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Please note that I have introduced a revision to this bill.

Why this difference?

While I believe the intention of this amendment is well intended and would make this region more democratic by being able to unseat the chair if the assembly wishes, there are, as Comfed said, critical flaws and exploits, of which I will not go into detail on, but if you wish this vote to come to pass, I believe it should be rewritten which limits the ability to challenge endlessly after the 120 day period, as well as the fixing of other loopholes in the amendment, and making it more specific, such as including what you mean by ‘challenge’ and ‘an objection to the challenge’, would it be a remark, or a request, or something else?

It is far too vague with many ways of interpreting it, so if you do wish to motion this to vote, I believe it should become more specific in it’s wording and what you want this to achieve.

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A few thoughts:

  • In a challenge election, can only the current Chair and the individual who “challenges” the Chair run? Or can others run as well?
  • Do I have to be willing to run for Chair to challenge the Chair? Or can I simply challenge the Chair and then not run (similar to the current recall procedure)?
  • If any one objection can force an Assembly vote on whether to hold a challenge election, can that objection be the Chair’s?
  • If the threshold to hold a challenge election in the first place is three-fifths, why is it different from a recall, besides that the incumbent Chair can run in the subsequent election? Why is it valuable to preserve that difference?

Closed due to inactivity per the Legislative Procedure Act , Article 1, Section 6.