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Code of Laws Tri-to-Flex changing process

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Demo Game: Citizens' started by Blkbird, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. Blkbird

    Blkbird Chieftain

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    Even though the citizens have decided to proceed for now with the current "Triumvirate" Code of Laws, and the Judiciary Review Board has ruled that the current "Triumvirate" Code of Laws is valid and effective, there appears to be an overwelming consent among the citizens to merge/switch the Code of Law to the "Flexible" ruleset as soon as possible.

    Assuming this Tri-to-Flex CoL merge/switch will happen, this thread here is to discuss the legal and pratical process.

    Allow me to start by presenting two legal alternatives of changing the current "Tri" CoL to the upcoming "Flex" CoL:

    1. Code of Law amendment: amend the complete CoL.
    2. Code of Law replacement: amend the constitution to allow complete replacement of CoL under current circumstance, then proceed with the said replacement.

    Here is an overview of what concrete steps are to be followed in each case (references in [] are relevant paragraphs of the Constitution of the CoL; words in italic are my comments):

    1. CoL amendment:

    - a. [CoL 10.B.I] A Citizen posts an idea about the amendment as a thread.
    (This is obviously trivial.)
    - b. [CoL 10.B.II] Amendment is debated in the thread.
    (Also quite easy, in fact the debate has already started in several threads. But to be sure, we should dedicate a new thread specificly to this topic.)
    - c. [CoL 10.B.III] After at least 48hours the proponent posts a proposed poll.
    (It's quite uncertain how the discussion will actually take. If the "proponent" post the poll before the discussion dies out, it might be legally seen as that the citizens are not "sufficiently informed" at the time of the poll, thus making the poll impossible to be binding.)
    - d. [CoL 10.B.IV] Once 24 hours have passed with no significant comments to the thread poll, the issue goes to the Judiciary for review.
    (This is very problematic. It can take indefinitely long before "no significant comments" comes in any more.)
    - e. [CoL 10.B.V] If and after Judicial Review passes, the ratification poll is posted by the Judiciary.
    (My estimate is that this probably takes one or two days.)
    - f. [CoL 10.A.I] The Code of Laws may be amended by a 60% majority of votes cast in a public poll which shall be open for no fewer than 4 days.
    (Adds 4 days to the process. In the end, 60% is needed.)

    Summarizing 1.a. to 1.f., the CoL amendment process starts with a dedicated discussion thread and takes at least 7 days, likely 10 to 12 days, and in worst case indefinitely long.

    2. CoL replacement:

    - a. A discussion starts regarding the Const. amendment to allow CoL being replaced as a whole.
    (This is already happening here.)
    - b. We determine under which terms the Const. should allow replacement of CoL.
    (We can make the terms specific to the current situation or somewhat more general.)
    - c. We draft a paragraph to be proposed as Const. amendment.
    (The could be trivial if there is no dispute regarding the terms, or if there is dispute, an addtional poll may be required.)
    - d. [Const. G.2] The Constitution may be amended by a 60% majority of votes cast in a public poll which shall be open for no fewer than 4 days.
    ([Const. G.2.a] further specifies: "A lower form of law may specify a procedure which must be followed to amend the Constitution." But our current CoL does not specify any such additional procedure.)
    - e. After the Const. amendment is passed, follow the procedure specified in that amendment to replace the CoL.
    (Since there is yet no draft for the Const. amendment, we don't know how complicated this will be. But if we don't put stones in our own way, it's likely to be a simple open, binding poll in form of a Referendum or an Initiative as defined in the Const., with 4 days minimul opening time and either 50% or 60% votes required for it to pass.)

    Summerizing 2.a. to 2.e., the Const. replacement process starts right here, takes at least 9 days, likely 10 to 12 days, in worst case 14 days.

    Comparing the two variants above, I personally favor the latter, because (1) it is less likely to be dragged on indefinitely, and because (2) passing a whole new CoL as "amendment" is a *hack*, while replacing it in accordance with the Constitution is a much cleaner solution.
     
  2. Bengeance

    Bengeance Civ Retributioner

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    I agree that the Second option is the much preferred option. You never know how amendments will be interpreted when applied liberally to a well written Constitution. Lots of potential for argument and long debates.

    I don't know if you need a second for the amendment proposal but I'll second it anyway.
     
  3. Blkbird

    Blkbird Chieftain

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    I also have this idea of a "double-pack" poll for the CoL replacement. It could shorten the whole process, but I'm not sure about the legality:

    Poll question: Shall we amend our Constitution with the Code of Law replacement clause (link) and subsequently replace our Code of Law with the "Flexible x.y" ruleset (link)?

    1. We shall amend the Constitution and replace the Code of Law
    2. We shall amend the Constitution but not replace the Code of Law
    3. We shall not amend the Constitution
    4. Abstain

    The legal question here is, would it be enough to amend the Constitution if options 1 and 2 gain 60% of votes together?
     
  4. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    Blkbird,

    It's my personal opinion that you don't need such a clause in the Constitution, unless you want the added control. The Amendment clause in the CoL has no restrictions on the scope of changes, so you could propose an amendment that strikes the existing CoL, and replaces it with a new one.

    -- Ravensfire
     
  5. Gloriana

    Gloriana Chieftain

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    I do not wish to spoil the fun, especially not since I have come to really like the idea of changing to a Flex government and am certainly in favour of it, but shouldn't we post an official poll first asking whether the people actually WANT to change to Flex?
    A great number of people seem to be in favour of it, but I really couldn't tell whether it's a majority or no. I propose waiting for the touched up Flex model to come up, compare it to Tri 6.2 and have a new poll on which government to go for. If Flex is chosen, then we can start thinking on how we are going about it.
     
  6. Blkbird

    Blkbird Chieftain

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    Obviously I already know that, that's what the first alternative is about. But it being a possible way doesn't mean it being the best way.
     
  7. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    Obviously, you feel that is not the best way, and outline some information in your OP, taking the worst case viewpoint. None of your concerns, by the way, have happened, and we've had some fairly controversial proposals before.

    A proposal to amend the Constitution to allow full-scale replacement of the Code of Laws will quite probably increase the time needed to place the Flex CoL before the people. Regardless of the method, you've got to finalize the CoL, so that time is a wash between both methods. Amending the Constitution will require the drafting the proposal, presenting it for review and then voting on it. That's easily an extra week.

    Obviously, I feel quite differently that you do, that the process already on the books to amend the Code of Laws is adequate and all we need. There's already a discussion going on in the Flex thread to create a solid proposal. Continuing with that effort will produce an alternative ruleset faster and keep the Constitution clean. There is no reason to put a one-shot clause on the books when existing law can easily and quickly accomplish the same goals.

    -- Ravensfire
     
  8. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    This would be getting on very shaky ground. We considered putting two parallel questions in the same poll for a combined Constitution / Code of Laws amendment in Civ3 DG7. The judiciary decided to use two separate polls so that the people could be asked a straightforward yes/no question.

    I agree with Ravensfire on the total replacement vs amendment question. The amendment process does not limit what can be amended, so an amendment in the form of a substitute would be perfectly valid.

    Also, I don't know if you were planning to use the "one shot" amendment to the Constitution to allow the flex CoL to pass with a majority, but be forewarned that this has been anticipated. Unofficially, Article A.2.a would apply because the CoL section on amendments is more specific on amending the CoL, and thus would take higher priority than a Constitutional amendment saying the CoL can be replaced by a majority vote. It would be easier to amend the CoL amendment process followed by replacing the CoL using an amendment.
     
  9. Blkbird

    Blkbird Chieftain

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    ravensfire, DaveShack I understand your points and respect your opinion. However, I still can't figure out how what to do if the CoL amendment discussion goes on forever - as there is no way to end it before it ends itself. So tell, me, why are you *not* afraid of the term of CoL 10.B.IV?
     
  10. Blkbird

    Blkbird Chieftain

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    First, I don't know if you mean by "one shot". I you think I was suggesting a Constitution amendment that is only to be used this one time - I wasn't. I was thinking about something like: "A set of lower form of law may be completely suspended or replaced by another set if it is determend that the passing of the set as law has significantly benefitted from illegal actions or decisions."

    Second, I never intended to lower the bar for the CoL amendment/replacement - and I still don't. But now you've mentioned the topic, I like to say I don't consider CoL section on amendment to be relevant for a complete change of CoL. In other words, on the question if a replacement is to be seen as a amendment, my answer is it can be, but doesn't have to.
     
  11. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    This one?
    IV. Once 24 hours have passed with no significant comments to the thread poll, the issue goes to the Judiciary for review.
    Easy -- "significant comments" is written that way to ensure that trivial comments don't hold up the process forever. We have had that phrase in the CoL amendment process for several DG's now, and haven't had a problem with it. In practice, just send it for review after 24 hours and let the Judiciary decide if there has been a significant comment or if the comment is filibustering in nature.
     
  12. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    Sorry, I thought that this would be clear. Replacing the whole CoL in "one shot", i.e. total replacement.
     
  13. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    One shot was also from me - the need for a large-scale replacement of the CoL is extremely rare. This is probably the only time it might be used - hence the one-shot.

    -- Ravensfire
     
  14. Swissempire

    Swissempire Poet Jester

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    Wheredid you get this info? :confused:
     

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