Legislative Procedure Act

Greetings to the Great Council.

Mr. Chair, I present the following act for consideration. I’ve gutted a lot of the Law Standards Act and simplified the Legislative Procedure Act, but I hope this continues a minimalist theme we’ve had.

An act to establish the Assembly’s legislative procedure.

1. General Provisions

(1) This law is a constitutional law and has precedence over all general laws and regulations.

2. Standard Procedure

(1) Any legislator may propose a bill, resolution, or amendment and present it to the Assembly for consideration.
(2) All proposals must be debated for a minimum of three days before voting can begin, with constitutional laws and amendments requiring five days.
(3) Votes must remain open for three days.
(4) Votes may begin on a proposal once a motion to vote is made by a legislator and seconded by a different legislator.
(5) Proposals concerning non-constitutional business require a simple majority of voters to pass.
(6) Should competing proposals, defined as proposals amending the same provisions within a passed resolution or piece of legislation, be brought to vote, the proposal with a larger percentage of votes in favornumber of in-favor votes that meets minimum threshold requirements for passage will be enacted.

3. The Chair’s Responsibilities and Powers

(1) The Chair is responsible for the following:

  1. Opening, closing, and recording votes in the Assembly.
  2. Recording the legislative history of each proposal, to include references to debate threads, voting results, and amendment history.
  3. Maintaining the MATT-DUCK Law Archive.
  4. Documenting the use of their discretionary powers, with appropriate rationale, in the relevant thread.

(2) The Chair may, in order to guide legislative debate and maintain order and decorum in the Assembly:

  1. Delay the opening of votes for a reasonable time frame.
  2. Waive the mandatory period of debate that remains on a proposal should a legislator move such action and provide an acceptable rationale.
  3. Correct typographical and grammatical errors, as well as naming or formatting inconsistencies present in proposals and legislation as long as such corrections do not alter the original intent and are presented to the Assembly for a minimum period of three days.

(3) The Chair may form committees for an express purpose, composed of no less than two legislators.
(4) The Chair may implement uniform formatting standards for laws.

2.6 could do with some more consideration around the wording - what happens if one proposal gets 4 votes in favor and 1 against (80% approval) and another proposal 5 votes in favor and two against (71% approval)?

3.2c also needs clarifying - it grants the Chair the power to correct typos/grammar errors bur only in proposals.

Who determined what constitute competing proposals? How is that determined?

I’ve adjusted the wording for these clauses to add clarification. Thank you for bringing these items up.

I’ve defined it in 2.6 as proposals amending the same legislation.

That could be read as two bills amending different provisions of the same law.

True enough. I’ve amended the definition again.

Mr. Chair, I move that this act be brought to a vote.

The motion is recognised and a vote is scheduled for 2022-11-29T14:00:00Z.

Mr. Chair, I would like to bring these amendments up for consideration.

I think 3(1) and 3(2) should say “Prime Minister or a designated Cabinet minister”. Our current laws we often find overly restrictive that the MoFA must post certain FA notices to the Assembly, but I expect if we said only the PM then we’d likely find the opposite.

I was flip-flopping on whether to include this language (specifically “the Prime Minister or their designated representative”), and decided against it for this draft for the sole reason of my preferring to hear the Prime Minister directly inform the Assembly of treaty actions, but I will include it.

I just think delegation should be permitted

I have added language to include recalls in regular business, and provided a clause for the Chair to process Legislator applications in a manner similar to the system we use in the Great Council for new participants.

Mr. Chair, I move that these amendments be brought to a vote.

If it’s alright with you, I’d like to propose the following instead. My reasoning is that I broadly consider regulations to refer to all orders, rules, and generally regulatory text that is not a law, so anything from executive orders to ministerial dispositions. That being the case, I’d prefer to have the supremacy clause refer the precedence of each piece of law, from laws (passed by the Assembly), to treaties (passed by the Assembly), to other regulations (not passed by the Assembly).

The Charter is the highest law of the region and holds supremacy over all other laws, treaties, and regulations.

Alright, it’s been changed.

Do you intend to motion the latest draft?

Yes, I do.

Mr. Chair, I revoke my previous motion on the Legislative Procedure Act and introduce the following amendment for consideration:

Sessions Draft

This amendment introduces sessions into the Assembly. I have given the Chair some leeway in deciding what sessions should be started, but I am open to other ideas.

I intend to move the amendment to the Charter in two days.

This draft is presented without sessions, but with other amendments.

Non-Sessions Draft

With respect, this is a whole paradigm shift in the way the Assembly conducts its business. As such, it deserves more than just two days of debate.

For starters, I would like to hear from you on what issue sessions are intended to address, if any at all, so that we can have a discussion about how well the solution fits the issue.