So. Let’s talk voter registration. (Again.) If we’re lucky, we might make the one-year anniversary!
These are some ideas that @ProfessorHenn and I put together. They’re not meant to be a final draft — we’re putting these ideas out to inspire discussion, not to push an agenda. But this is also an idea that has been hashed and re-hashed in several forms by now, and we felt that it would be beneficial to have a concrete draft as a starting point.
Here’s a quick run-down of our initial ideas.
- WA nation in TSP or sole SPSF membership
- Good faith requirement
- Not flagged by CRS for security concerns
- Continued activity through voting in all eligible elections (LoAs notwithstanding)
- Reviewed by a new Voter Registration Committee (replacing the Legislator Committee)
- Vote in elections
- Become Delegate, Prime Minister, appointed minister, Chair of the Assembly or a deputy, Chief Justice or an Associate Justice
- Vote in the Assembly
- Apply to become registered voters
- Serve in the military
- Participate in the executive
- Join legislative discussions
We’ve had several discussions relating to the general idea of voter registration, but many of the ideas here draw inspiriation from Roavin:
In our current system, we incentivize legislator status — but tie it to things like voting that aren’t intrinsically related to legislating but which are nevertheless fundamental to our democracy. That creates a direct incentive for players who aren’t interested in legislating to become legislators. Furthermore, we require them to participate in our legislative votes in order to retain their voting rights, creating a further incentive for token votes rather than meaningful participation.
Under a voter registration system, the goal is to instead promote direct participation in our democratic elections. Our elections are central to our democracy, and registering to vote is a fundamental expression of interest in that democracy — it demonstrates, at the very least, that someone cares about our government and our government officials. Beyond that, the paths they take are up to them, whether it be running for executive office or participating in legislative debate.
These proposed amendments are still an early draft, but should give a rough picture of what the legislation need to implement these reforms might look like.
These amendments to the Charter reflect the role of voters and non-voters rather than legislators and non-legislators.
IV. REGISTERED VOTERS
Establishing a body of voters.
(1) All residents of the Coalition are eligible to attain registered voter status through an application.
(2) A standing commission of registered voters will be tasked with granting and revoking registered voter status.
(3) Continued registered voter status requires active membership and good behavior.
(4) The requirements and processes for attaining and retaining registered voter status will be set by the Assembly in a law.
IV. THE ASSEMBLY
Establishing legislative authority in the Assembly.
(1) The Assembly holds supreme legislative authority in the Coalition, and is comprised of all eligible legislators registered voters.
(2) The Assembly will elect a legislator registered voter as Chair of the Assembly. The Chair is responsible for maintaining order and decorum, and helping guide Assembly debate into the creation of bills. If the Chair is recalled, resigns, loses legislator registered voter status, or is otherwise not in office, a new Chair will be elected. The date, time, and manner of electing the Chair will be set by the Assembly in a law.
(3) The Chair may appoint a deputy or deputies one or more registered voters as deputies, to whom the Chair may publicly delegate any powers, responsibilities, or special projects of the Chair, subject to all regulations and restrictions imposed upon the Chair by law. The Chair may dismiss such deputies.
(4) A standing commission of legislators will be tasked with granting and revoking legislator status. All residents of the Coalition are eligible to attain legislator status through an application. Continued legislator status requires active membership and good behaviour.
VI. THE EXECUTIVE
(4) Members of the Executive are required to hold legislator registered voter status.
VII. THE DELEGATE
VIII. THE HIGH COURT
VIII IX. THE COUNCIL ON REGIONAL SECURITY AND CORAL GUARD
Membership of the Council on Regional Security
(2) The minimum qualifications for membership in the Council on Regional Security are: maintaining a nation in the South Pacific and having served at least six consecutive months as a legislator registered voter.
(13) The minimum qualifications for membership in the Coral Guard are: maintaining a World Assembly member nation in the South Pacific; having served at least six consecutive months as a legislator registered voter; and meeting requirements for influence and endorsements which are set and published by the Council on Regional Security.
IX. THE MILITARY
XI. RECALLS AND MOTIONS OF NO CONFIDENCE
XII. THE ADMINISTRATION TEAM
XIII. AMENDMENT PROCESS
XIIIV. GREAT COUNCILS
(2) Great Councils shall operate in parallel to the Assembly, which will still be convened under regular order. Participation in Great Councils is determined in the organizing resolution, where the Assembly may expand eligibility beyond legislators registered voters or restrict eligibility by criteria it deems fit.
The Voter Registration Act replaces the Legislator Committee Act, establishing procedures for South Pacificans to register as voters and setting activity requirements for continued registration.
Voter Registration Act
An act to establish procedures for managing voter eligibility
1. Voter Registrations
(1) Members of the South Pacific are eligible to become and remain registered voters if they:
- have a World Assembly member nation in the South Pacific or under the sole direction of the General Corps;
- are not joining or participating in bad faith,
- are not attempting to join with multiple nations or identities,
- are not considered by the Council on Regional Security to be a significant risk to regional security, and
- cast a ballot in all elections in which they are eligible to vote and are not on a leave of absence, provided that such review must take place no later than seven days after the end of said election and for that purpose the official who administered the election must provide a list of voters who casted votes.
(2) Members of the South Pacific may register to vote through an application with the Voter Registration Committee, including at least:
- any colloquial aliases of the individual in use within the last year, or in prominent use longer than a year ago;
- the current World Assembly nation of the individual (in case of a floating World Assembly membership, the applicant may list multiple nations such that World Assembly membership can be traced throughout the application process); and
- a note if the World Assembly nation is under the sole direction of the General Corps.
(3) The Voter Registration Committee shall strive to confirm the reception of each application, and then shall determine the eligibility of the applicant in consultation with any other institutions of the Coalition as needed and accept or deny each applicant based on that determination.
(4) The Voter Registration Committee may request additional legitimation steps from applicants, such as requesting a telegram from the World Assembly nation. In case of reasonable concerns of confidentiality, an applicant may choose to disclose such information to the Voter Registration Committee privately.
(5) Upon acceptance or denial of an application, the Voter Registration Committee shall post the result (including a sufficient reason in case of a denial) both in response to the application as well as per telegram to the applicant nation.
2. Voter Registration Committee
(1) The Voter Registration Committee is the committee responsible for granting and revoking the voter registrations of members.
(2) The Voter Registration Committee comprises up to four registered voters that have each been appointed by the Prime Minister and approved by the Assembly via a simple majority vote.
(3) A member of the Voter Registration Committee is removed from the committee if the member:
- loses voter eligibility, or
- is recalled by the Assembly through regular order.
(4) If there is no member of the Voter Registration Committee available due to vacancy or leave, and there are outstanding duties to be performed, the Prime Minister may appoint an emergency member to handle any urgent matters of the committee. The Council on Regional Security may, on security grounds only, rescind the Prime Minister’s appointment. The emergency member’s tenure will last until the Prime Minister rescinds the appointment or until one week after a regular committee member is available, whichever happens sooner.
(5) The Voter Committee may additionally conduct security checks on voters at the request of other government officials.
3. Voter Registration Checks
(1) Voters retain their status until resignation or removal by the appropriate authority, the latter upon the determination that the voter:
- No longer meets the qualifications prescribed in Article 1, Section 1, provided that no unlawful expulsion from the region may be used to support a conclusion of failure to meet the qualifications; or
- Has been declared a persona non grata by the Coalition.
(2) Voters may request a leave of absence for a non-indefinite period of time, specifying the end date of such leave, which will be subject to discretionary approval from the Voter Registration Committee prior to the voting period for each election. Voters shall not have their status removed if they fail to cast a ballot in an election for which the voting period is contained within their leave of absence.
(3) The Voter Registration Committee will revoke the voter registrations of all voters who are no longer eligible at least monthly.
4. Constitutional Law
(1) The Voter Registration Act is a constitutional law, and further amendments to it must meet constitutional amendment requirements.
2. Electoral Basics
(4) To be eligible to vote in, or stand for, a forum-based election, a legislator registered voter must have been accepted by the Legislator Committee Voter Registration Committee before the period for nominations began for that particular election.
3. Office of the Delegate
(2) On the first of every January and July, the Assembly will convene for the first round of Delegate elections.
- Any eligible legislator registered voter wishing to run for Delegate may declare their candidacy, and the Assembly will debate the merits of their platform. Any player who has been banned from World Assembly membership will be considered ineligible and any candidate who is later discovered to be banned from World Assembly membership will be immediately disqualified. Legislators Registered voters wishing to run for Delegate must hold a number of endorsements equal to at least 80% of the existing general endorsement cap at the commencement of the election period.
- The campaign and debate period will last one week, after which the Assembly will vote for three days.
- This round of voting for Delegate will use Approval Voting to determine two winners of positions as candidates in the second round. If candidates tie for being a winner, all of those tied candidates shall be considered winners.
5. Office of the Chair
(1) Eight days before the end of a Chair’s term, the Assembly will convene to elect the Chair of the Assembly.
- Any legislator registered voter wishing to run for Chair may declare their candidacy, and the Assembly will debate the merits of their platform.
- The campaign and debate period will last five days, after which the Assembly will vote for three days.
- The sole winner, as decided using Approval Voting, will be declared Chair of the Assembly by the Election Commissioner.
6. Vacancies of Office
(3) If a Chair is no longer in office prior to the election of a new Chair, a deputy appointed by the outgoing Chair will serve as Acting Chair to exercise all powers and responsibilities of the office of the Chair, subject to all regulations and restrictions imposed upon the Chair by law. In the event that more than one deputy was appointed, the most senior deputy according to the order of appointment and availability will serve as Acting Chair. In the event that no deputy was appointed or is available, the Prime Minister will designate a legislator registered voter to serve as Acting Chair.
2. Judicial Conduct and Requirements
(2) An Associate Justice must have legislator registered voter status in the South Pacific and take an oath of confidentiality and impartiality.
3. Amendments and Repeals
(6) If a legislator registered voter moves to repeal only specific sections of a law, then the amendment procedure must be used.
(7) If a legislator registered voter moves to repeal an entire law, the Chair will quote the entire law and note that the entirety of it will be repealed.
1. Legislative Rules
(1) Any legislator registered voter may propose a bill, resolution, or appointment, which will be debated and refined collectively in the Assembly under the guidance of the Chair.
(2) To be brought to a vote, a specific draft of a bill, resolution, or appointment must
- receive a motion to vote by a legislator registered voter,
- receive a second by another legislator registered voter,
- be affirmed to be in proper formatting by the Chair, and
- have been at debate for a minimum period of time equivalent to the length of its voting period.
(7) Any legislator registered voter may motion to cancel voting and withdraw a bill that has been brought to a vote so revisions can be made. The Chair may cancel voting on the bill, provided that there is a reason deemed sufficient by the Chair and no objection is raised within 24 hours of the motion being made and seconded. Should the motion and seconding be made within the final 24 hours of voting, the legislation shall not pass or fail until the Chair makes a ruling on the motion.
(8) Should any bill, resolution or amendment fail to become law, any proposal which is judged by the Chair as being substantially similar to that failed legislation shall be prevented from going to vote for two weeks after the closure of the vote. The Chair may waive this restriction should a legislator registered voter motion for them to do so, provided that there is a reason deemed sufficient by the Chair and no objection is raised within 24 hours of the motion being made and seconded.
2. Powers and Responsibilities of the Chair
(1) The Chair is responsible for creating voting threads and recording votes. In the event that the Chair does not perform these duties in a reasonable time frame, any legislator registered voter may create voting threads and record votes.
(7) The Chair may waive the mandatory debate period remaining on a particular piece of legislation should a legislator registered voter motion for them to do so, provided that there is a reason deemed sufficient by the Chair and no objection is raised within 24 hours of the motion being made and seconded.