Time to revisit Unity

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Beathan
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Time to revisit Unity

Post by Beathan »

From the start, the Simplicity Part has been dedicated to the idea of CDS unity. This was a clear plank in our platform for our first election. It was less so in the last election. We need to discuss where we stand.

Personally, I favor some recognition of local difference within the larger federal unity of the CDS. I think that distinction is not division -- and that local representation can strengthen the whole by strengthening the parts. However, in my half term in the RA, I felt compelled to vote against local representation out of my duty to represent the Party and our platform, even if at variance with my own views, until and unless I could persuade our Party to change its position.

I think that we can still be for unity -- on a federal model -- while, at the same time, strengthening locality. The starting point for these changes is in our electoral system. A discussion setting forth the positions of the other two partes on this issue is available here:

[url:ut3j03fy]http://www.care-cds.com/forum/index.php ... sg39#msg39[/url:ut3j03fy]

I am personally inclined to support the CSDF proposal -- which provides for local representation within a unified national government and which does not increase the complexity of government by adding a second chamber (the DPU proposal). I am aware, however, that some citizens would feel a loss if we move entirely to local representatives and would argue that, in such case, there would be no representation of a national interest.

I think that there are three ways to address this -- two involving the executive and the third involving both the executive and the RA.

First, we could shift the executive to the US model -- and have the executive elected in a national election. (The CARE proposal.) This national mandate would give the executive the right to claim to represent the national interest, as opposed to the various local interests of the RA members. I think that this claim, along with the added powers and rights given to the Chancellor in CARE's proposal, would empower the executive too much. Freedom is best preserved where there is a weak executive government.

Second, we could move to the UK model. In such case, the "Prime Minister" could also claim to represent the national interest, having been selected by the national assembly. Any subordinate ministers could be similarly selected -- allowing for similar claims. However, as the first, popular election of these ministers was local -- there is still the possibility that local concerns might predominate, even in execution of a national office.

Third, we can, even without creating a second chamber, create two kinds of RA members -- local and national. Candidates could declare for one position or the other. The executive would be constituted on the UK model. In such case, we could set up a system in which all RA members had the same function and power with one exception -- only national RA members would be eligible for appointment by the RA to national office. This proposal would, I think, best resolve all concerns.

I would propose the numbers be as follows: 30% of the members of the RA would be national members (3 in a 7 member RA; 4 in a 9 member RA; etc.); the remainder would be local representatives. Local representatives would be distributed among the sims by population, combining low population sims together for election purposes if there are sims too sparsely populated to qualify for a RA member.

This proposal has some complexity -- and it might be objectionable for that reason -- but I think that it is scalable, and would be simpler than other alternatives as it scales up with population growth and sim expansion.

Beathan
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Post by Gxeremio Dimsum »

Yes, my immediate response is to oppose this because of its complexity. If, on the other hand, we moved to a patronage model as I have advocated elsewhere, local representatives would be possible for those who desired them, and at-large representatives would be possible for those who desired them as well.

Alternately, we could allocate a certain number of reps per CDS sim (say, 3) and let the residents of that sim decide how they would choose their own reps.

In any case, I am curious about how our party comes to its platform. Whoever shows up at the meeting gets to make the rules?
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Re: Time to revisit Unity

Post by Claude Desmoulins »

[quote:1uzvsika]
I think that we can still be for unity -- on a federal model -- while, at the same time, strengthening locality. The starting point for these changes is in our electoral system. A discussion setting forth the positions of the other two partes on this issue is available here:

[url:1uzvsika]http://www.care-cds.com/forum/index.php ... sg39#msg39[/url:1uzvsika]
...

Third, we can, even without creating a second chamber, create two kinds of RA members -- local and national. Candidates could declare for one position or the other. The executive would be constituted on the UK model. In such case, we could set up a system in which all RA members had the same function and power with one exception -- only national RA members would be eligible for appointment by the RA to national office. This proposal would, I think, best resolve all concerns.

I would propose the numbers be as follows: 30% of the members of the RA would be national members (3 in a 7 member RA; 4 in a 9 member RA; etc.); the remainder would be local representatives. Local representatives would be distributed among the sims by population, combining low population sims together for election purposes if there are sims too sparsely populated to qualify for a RA member.

Beathan[/quote:1uzvsika]

This seemed vaguely familiar. Note the following post from June 10.

[url:1uzvsika]http://forums.neufreistadt.info/viewtop ... ight=#6993[/url:1uzvsika]

Glad to see someone´s coming round :)

Both the CSDF and CARE proposals concern me as they would create a situation in which the Chancellor, with some legitimacy, could claim to be the only officer with a CDS wide mandate. Living in the USA for the last five years has made me suspicious of the expansion of executive power :)
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Post by michelmanen »

There is a difference between increased power and increased legitimacy. Just because one elected President stretches the bounds of his mandate does not invalidate the very principles of the directly elected Chief Executive. As long as a functioning system of checks and balances exists between various branches, and each actually exercises its prerogatives, no undue expansion of powers will occur.

Secondly, sims are *not* territorially-based units of a nation-state. The analogy just does not work. Any attempt to force our community, which is entirely non-territorial, into the straightjacket of RL -type territorially defined, sovereign nation states shows a total and utter lack of understanding what SL is all about, what its potential and opportunities are, as well as an utter lack of creativity and innovation. We are not here to blindly replicate obsolete RL models of government in an qualitatively different environment.

And yes, I still have to elaborate on this in my "What System off Governance for the CDS". I shall do that as soon as possible.
Last edited by michelmanen on Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Beathan »

Claude --

I am not coming around; I have always been around. ;-)

Michel --

With increased and individualized legitimacy, there is naturally and unavoidably an increased power, and that is why your proposal will not work. The US system is flawed not because the US President lacks legitimacy -- but because the US President is the only democratically legitimate national leader. We must avoid that problem.

Also -- we have two sims. These sims have different themes. We are adding a third sim. This sim will have yet another theme. Some of us are attached equally to all our sims -- or to our project in general. Others are attached to their location in particular. I confess that I would have joined the CDS if it were only Neufreistadt -- but I was happy to wait to buy my lot in CN because I was specifically attracted to the sim.

It is true that we are not a nationality based state. That is, we come from all over the world and form all sorts of nationalities -- and this diversity should be accommodated and celebrated. That said, it is simply false to say that, relative to the rest of SL, we are not a territorially defined nation. We certainly are. We have national ambitions (at least virtual national ambitions) and those ambitions are tied to a territory of two (soon three) sims. Thus, we are a territorially defined nation -- and we should preserve that center as the core of our unity.

To lose our territorial definition would be to lose our focus and coherence as a community. To lose our national ambition would be to sacrifice our project and our sovereignty. Again, Michel proves to have a novel -- but terrible -- idea. I would oppose such an idea no matter the source.

Beathan
Last edited by Beathan on Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by michelmanen »

We must avoid giving our public officials increased democratic legitimacy? LOL!
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Post by Beathan »

No Michel --

We must avoid creating any office that has a unique kind of direct democratic legitimacy -- such as an office being the only one elected in a national election.

That is what I meant by "individualized legitimacy."

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Post by michelmanen »

Poppycock! CDS is no nation - its has no state - no territory - no federal units - and it certainly isn't sovereign! ! What in Zeus' name are you going on about??? We are a small, heterogeous, non-territorial virtual community using sims as heuristic devices to create a sense of time and space so as to facilitate interaction, communication, innovation, creativity, entertainment, education -and trying to develop a system of limited self-governance on issues of common interest! Are you really incapable to tell the difference???
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Post by Dnate Mars »

[quote="michelmanen":317mgw4z]Poppycock! CDS is no nation - its has no state - no territory - no federal units - and it certainly isn't sovereign! ! What in Zeus' name are you going on about??? We are a small, heterogeous, non-territorial virtual community using sims as heuristic devices to create a sense of time and space so as to facilitate interaction, communication, innovation, creativity, entertainment, education -and trying to develop a system of limited self-governance on issues of common interest! Are you really incapable to tell the difference???[/quote:317mgw4z]

SL is a nation. The CDS is a nation within a nation. I guess that kind of makes us a state?
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Post by michelmanen »

Dnate,

Can you please define both "nation" and "state'? I want to be sure we're talking about the same thing.

Thanks,

Michel
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Post by Dnate Mars »

SL is a nation, just ask Philip. [quote:hcy8afib]I'm not building a game. I'm building a new country.[/quote:hcy8afib]
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Post by Beathan »

Michel --

You are out to lunch here. What are you doing in the CDS if you don't respect our territory (our sims) or our sovereignty (the independence of our political project as a project in self-regulation).

Just because we exist at sufferance of stronger powers does not make us any less a nation. Most nations exist on those terms. I mean, seriously, could Canada remain independent if the United States chose to impose U.S. law in Ottawa?

Dnate --

In U.S. Federal Indian Law, Native American Reservations have a status called "domestic dependent nations." Essentially, this means that they retain their sovereignty subject to ultimate regulation and control by the U.S. Congress. Call it "Sovereignty Lite."

The C.D.S. is certainly like that vis-a-vis LL. We are subject to and limited by LL's TOS and other regulations. But -- we retain sovereign control over our own sims to the extent allowed by LL. This is actually quite of bit of control because LL is neither interested nor competent when it comes to regulating the avs that populate its world. They are rather like neglectful gods, those Lindens.

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Post by Patroklus Murakami »

One adaptation of the CSDF proposal for electoral reform would be to treat the whole of the CDS as one constituency (as we do at the moment). You lose 'local' representation but it's becoming clear that there aren't that many citizens in the CDS who are that bothered about 'local' representation.

A hybrid system is also possible with some local and some national reps. The only problem is that you create two 'classes' of representative. Does anyone have information about the German Bundestag and the Scottish Parliament (which I understand have a similar setup)? Does this problem arise or do citizens view their elected representatives the same way, regardless of which constitutency they were elected from?
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Post by michelmanen »

No, they're treated exactly the same. But remember that Germany has extremely strong Lander with their own parliaments and first ministers - in effect, much more like autonomous states than provinces. Plus, of course, the Bundesrat at the Federal level whose purpose is to represent the Lander federallly....

In any case we agree with your (current?) position of a single constituency for the CDS at this time in our history and at this stage of development.

What about the 3 member rule for parties? Are you guys in favor of keeping it? And do you favor 3 members or 3 candidates?
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Post by Beathan »

I favor three member parties -- but I am opposed to requiring that parties necessarily field three candidates. I would also favor. if we move to some kind of personalized vote, allowing nonaligned individuals to run as "independents."

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