[2314.AB] Amendment to the Legislative Procedure Act

Hello my fellow legislators, I thought I would present the following amendment to the Legislative Procedure Act. I feel that if two or more legislators wish for a previously closed draft or proposal to be reopened for discussion, we should permit and allow this. As such, I am proposing the following amendment:

Legislative Procedure Act

An act to define the procedural rules of the Assembly

1. Legislative Rules


(6) Any bill, resolution or amendment which has been inactive for more than one month may be considered defunct and archived at the discretion of the Chair. Two or more legislators may petition the Chair to reopen a previously closed bill, resolution or amendment. If the Chair deems there to be sufficient evidence of new discussion.


Any thoughts and potential changes are welcome.


To clarify, a “previously closed bill” is a thread that has been locked by the Office of the Chair (per Article 1, Section 6 of this very act)?

Yes, a draft bill, resolution or amendment, that has had its relevant debate thread closed and locked, here on the forums.

I think that is a good rule change.

Though, perhaps we should also start to use the Archives to store closed threads: General Archives - The South Pacific

Why? If I want to search for an Assembly discussion, I should be able to find it in the Assembly category. It’s redundant to have to check the Assembly discussion, see if it’s there, then search an entirely different category if it’s not there.

I think Glen said it best in the category description of the Archives category:

What this category is not: a dumping ground for topics to keep main categories “clean.” We should only archive topics that are important to preserve but no longer relevant to their original category. Inactive or otherwise “clutter” topics shouldn’t be archived-- let them fall out of visibility on their own.

A better question is what we’re actually gaining by locking inactive threads anyway. Almost all of the time, a thread that’s locked for inactivity is one that people aren’t interested in anymore — hence the inactivity! In fact, all locking the thread actually does is notify everyone about ‘new activity’ when it’s really just a notification that the thread was locked.

Think this is a pretty good idea quite frankly. Also concur with Pronoun in regards to the usage of the archives category. I would be interested if you could provide some form of example on what sufficient evidence would include, but I do suppose that that could easily be left for the Chair to decide on a case-by-case basis and would accomplish the trick. Overall, this has my support.

This was my overall thinking on how the Chair would deem a previously closed/locked thread worthy of being re-opened for discussion.

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I’ve taken the liberty to re-word this to be more in-line with the other provisions in the Act. Not as important, but we could also take this time to change the text from archived to closed as well.

I’m trying not to be overly pedantic here, but I’m still not sure I understand what the benefit of locking inactive threads is as opposed to just letting them be inactive?

It’s to prevent someone grave-digging a topic that has been abandoned, or has already been passed or rejected (the Assembly’s Code of Conduct has guidelines against this as well). The benefit is forcing people to either make a new topic (or motion to re-open debate, per this bill) rather than kindly requesting that they don’t do that.

I mean, Discourse notifies me of a ‘new post’ in a topic when it’s locked, so if the goal is to avoid gravedigging or stray posts, I’d honestly prefer it if I didn’t get a notification for every topic after it goes inactive for a month.

I don’t mind, as our current law does, saying that the Chair may archive inactive threads. But it’s not like we have a rampant issue with gravedigging anyway that would warrant pre-emptively locking every thread after a month.

I’m not necessarily opposed to this amendment, but it still seems like a big song and dance over a simple non-issue. I mean, if we’re so concerned that individual people might post in a thread after it’s been inactive for a month, what’s the big difference if two people want to post in that thread? Would it no longer be gravedigging if two people did it?

The difference between a motion and grave-digging is the former is a formal request rather than just doing it; not necessarily it being two versus one legislators moving for it.

Also, I think the problem with it notifying people the topic has been closed is because it hasn’t been unlisted as well.

The problem isn’t that topics aren’t being unlisted, it’s that we’re locking topics that have not seen any spam or gravedigging and don’t need to be locked at all in the first place. It’s a solution to a problem we aren’t facing.

I’d especially prefer if topics are not unlisted, as they would only be accessible via direct links — and therefore would be excluded not only from the ‘latest’ feed but also from search results and even from search engines.

Doesn’t the Discourse system also lock threads after 30 days of inactivity? I believe I have seen something like that in the Lampshade Bar and Grill.

Wouldn’t it be prudent to censure legislators that engage in grave digging rather than locking all inactive threads? I could see the chair locking a thread after a thread was resurrected by a grave digger.

I think the system now works fine enough–a resurrected bill through this process has no incentive to change. If a bill is archived/closed due to inactivity, then the author has more incentive to republish a bill with changes to better suit the need for a vote–as opposed to simply reopening the bill to continue an already dead discussion on the same matters.

I also question what evidence would there be for the Chair to decide if the bill should be reopened, especially if there has been no official discussion on the bill for a month in the first place. I’m assuming that the topic is brought up again in the Discord (or other methods), but I’d just urge those people to rewrite the bill.

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