Proposal for principles for RA governance

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Diderot Mirabeau
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Proposal for principles for RA governance

Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

I've given some thought to how we could govern the RA to make it more streamlined and strategic in the hope that it will improve the institution's ability to make important, far-reaching decisions for our community on the basis of a shared vision rather than be clogged down in divisive arguments over ad hoc problems or hijacked by the hobby horses of individual protagonists.

I outline the principles in the below in the hope that they may stimulate some debate and eventually in a revised form express how we would want the RA run in the coming term:

[b:8jcs0hvd]1) Always try the simple approach first:[/b:8jcs0hvd] In the case where a challenge faced by the community can be solved in a number of ways we should always try the simple approach first and if it is found to have deficiencies then we can replace it or complement it with additional mechanisms to address the shortcomings. This is a fundamental principle of good governance - one that has [b:8jcs0hvd]not[/b:8jcs0hvd] been followed always in the last term of the RA and we are seeing the negative repercussions of that now. It is of vital importance that The Simplicity Party pursues this principle in the RA, asks the question of any legislative proposal brought before the institution and works to embed it as deeply in RA practice as possible. Ideally to the point where it is entrenched in the Constitution - but alternatively inserting it in the procedures of the RA may be sufficient.

[b:8jcs0hvd]2) Agree on a unifying vision for the community[/b:8jcs0hvd]: Members of the RA could spend their first meeting discussing what a shared vision for our community could look like. The emphasis in such a discussion would be on finding common ground and not the opposite. The result could be put into writing and made the basis for justification of any future legislative proposals.

[b:8jcs0hvd]3) Legislative Timetable[/b:8jcs0hvd]: I think it was Claude who advanced the idea at the beginning of this term to lay out a timetable where a number of different issues were listed and devoted their specific legislative session at the beginning of the term.

I think this is a great idea as it helps the RA maintain a focus and prevents it from being hijacked by special interests, who happen to have written an extensive omnibus bill that they would like to have approved of right now. We should pursue this idea more strictly than the present RA has done.

Any legislative proposal submitted to the RA would either be delayed until the session dealing with issues under that subject or be promoted on the [i:8jcs0hvd]basis of an explicit justification by the submitter why the approval of this bill is such an urgent matter[/i:8jcs0hvd].

[b:8jcs0hvd]4) Standing commissions to do detailed work: [/b:8jcs0hvd] An alternative or complementary idea could be to establish a number of standing committees for specific sub-topics such as "governance", "business", "building" or "community", which could do the more detailed work of discussing and hammering out bills within their remit. The RA plenary could then meet every second Saturday and the standing commissions would meet the other Saturday. Every member of the RA would also be the member of one standing commission. It would be the job of the standing committees to work on the details of the legislation and to achieve political agreement and the plenary RA sessions would then be free to focus on three areas:
a) Overall framework for our planning and decision-making (vision, priorities, budget &c.); b) Delegating submitted legislative proposals to the relevant committees; c) Voting on finalised bills coming back from the committees with a majority behind them.

If you have any suggestions to add to this or alterations to propose please post them in this thread and let us have a good debate about how to govern the coming RA.
Last edited by Diderot Mirabeau on Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Publius Crabgrass
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Re: Proposal for principles for RA governance

Post by Publius Crabgrass »

[quote="Diderot Mirabeau":2tqfbc53][b:2tqfbc53]4) Always try the simple approach first:[/b:2tqfbc53] [/quote:2tqfbc53]

Item #4 should be #1. I am reminded of the RL political party platform that had "put the children first" as the 23rd item. :D
Diderot Mirabeau
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Re: Proposal for principles for RA governance

Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

Hehe - duly revised. Thanks for the feedback! :-)
Publius Crabgrass
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Post by Publius Crabgrass »

BTW, this is a very sensible set of plans for our platform.
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