Amendment to the Constitution- Legislative Powers
I believe that it is time to see a degree of change in the commission which does not turn this region into some form of mild dictatorship with executive orders and a president. My proposal provides commissioners the power to table and debate legislation within the council for topics within their perview whilst the premier commissioner will be able to propose and debate for any proposed legislation. In order to achieve this I propose the following amendment to the constitution;
I propose that Article II Section III be amended to the following (Parts added are in bold)
Section III – Voting in the European Council
I. A Bill, amendment, repeal, statement, or impeachment is proposed by a Councillor or a Commissioner. A commissioner may only table legislation within their brief except for the Premier Commissioner who may table legislation on any topic.
II. Councillors and the proposing Commissioner then debate the proposal for 48 hours. During this period, unless the proposal is a repeal or impeachment, amendments may be proposed by any Councillor. Amendments proposed during this period shall be voted upon once the debating period has concluded, and it shall last for for 48 hours to determine if the amendments shall be made. Amendments require a simple majority of 55% to pass.
III. Councillors only then vote on the proposal for 72 hours. The proposal is to be voted on in its whole form and may not be changed during the voting phase. Each vote must be announced in public and is permanent once cast. Proposals requiring a simple majority to pass must garner 55% approval of those present. Proposals requiring a super-majority to pass must garner 75% approval of those present.
IV. In accordance with the majorities set in the Voting Phase, the proposal is judged to have either passed or been defeated. If passed, the proposal is put into force. Passed proposals are binding upon all member states.
I believe that this amendment will provide commissioners with the ability to make real changes within the region and stops the requirement that commissioners are required to use their nations councillor to table and debate their legislation which is a most unpractical arrangement. It must be noted that Commissioners are also unable to propose amendments to legislation, vote on amendments or cast final votes as I feel that it is important to maintain the European Council as the sole body with such powers.
I really hope that I will receive some support for this amendment which will ultimately benefit everyone within the European Union.
Debate and amendment proposal period begins now and ends at 20:35GMT on Monday 7th March 2016
Any voting on amendments shall begin then and ends at 20:35GMT on Wednesday 9th March 2016
At which point final voting starts and ends at 20:35GMT on Saturday 12th March 2016
Does anyone have any views on this?
Yes, I rather enjoy your concept and am in favour of it.....
"Is this the root cause as to why so many people not only wanted to reform Commission, but almost nearly voted to abolish the Commission altogether? Were they really upset that Commissioners can't legislate? Of course not. This proposal does not offer proper Commission reform, and the changes that it does propose would permanently alter the Commission in the worst way possible.
As you've already explain yourself, technically Commissioner can propose legislation, so really most of your argument is already moot. They have to have it sponsored by a Councillor, and that Councillor has to put it on the Council floor themselves. That process exists for a reason. Legislative powers belongs to the Council, not the Commission. It is explicitly mentioned in our Constiution that the Council holds legislative initiative and it is the task of the Commission to carry out these initiatives. In the past few weeks, Commission reformists have been called out for 'undermining the Council', but this proposal here really undermines the Council in its entirety.
Furthermore, this proposal would fundamentally change our expectations for Comissioners. Commissioners should only be proposing legislation if they believe it is seriously necessary, and they should be doing it as a last resort. Otherwise it is the responsibility for the Commission to hold discussions, consult different parties, and help carry out existing initiatives. Take note of our current Premier, who has done a fantastic job in facilitating discussions on structural reforms to the EU. Should Commissioners be expected to carry out legislation themselves, then gone would be the days of discussion and done would be the days of the Council acting as the European legislative. We would then expect Commissioners to be the prime legislators of the European Union, and they would have to run on campaigns that would promise that. Never mind running their offices and the programs under their jurisdiction, and never mind fostering discussions - instead, the Commission will just be concerned about legislating under certain portfolios. The only benefit to this is that perhaps I could take more vacations in the year because clearly us Councillors are of no use.
This will only change the expectations of our Commissioners. It won't address chronic Commission inactivity, it wouldn't help put Commissioners in their right positions, and it wouldn't allow us to easily switch or remove them from office.
I will be voting against this proposal."
Though Inimicus has supported several Commission reform proposals and objected to others, this proposal will enjoy the yes-vote of the Empire.
"Mr Speaker, at no point have I said that commissioners already have the power to legislate, as the constitution clearly states that it is councillors that can propose legislation and not commissioners. They have the ability to help author legislation which is very different from being able to propose such legislation. Under the current system if a commissioner wanted to propose legislation then they would be required to go through a councillor. Presuming councillors of a commissioners nation would be happy to present a bill to the council is an absurdity.
I have not changed the role of the council in anyway through this proposed amendment, which other councillors have essentially done through their other proposals which included the use of arbitrary executive orders which would have been open to abuse. If you read it properly councillors are the only people who can propose any amendments to pieces of legislation and councillors are the only people who can vote upon a piece of legislation on the council. Commissioners can only debate when a bill is tabled, even then only if they are the proposing commissioner. This maintains the supremacy of the council in that respect.
My Inquistan counterpart also talks about this proposal preventing us councillors in our ability to remove inactive commissioners from office. I do question now whether the councillor has actually even read the amendments that I have proposed here because in my view he has looked at little more than the name on the top of this piece of paper. As is clear in the constitution, as well as has been said earlier in my reply to you, councillors are the only people who can vote on bills tabled in this place and will continue to do so. If for example my Inquistan counterpart proposes a bill of impeachment over a commissioner said commissioner DOES NOT get a vote and is not able to debate these issues here in this chamber. That is something I would very much press onto my fellow councillors. We very much continue to hold the majority of the power with regards to legislation.
Admittedly this amendment is not wholesale reform of the commission which has been proposed numerous times in various ill thought out formats. None of which might I add have passed this council. This act provides the commission with the ability to actually achieve some of its aims. Commissioners can work together to make changes to this region, to actually bring about the initiatives it wants to achieve. This is also not reform because it doesn't change very much really, it does not bring about a European President or a position similar to that role merely branded as a Premier Commissioner with dangerous executive orders and the power to veto legislation. And ultimately this is not branded as commission reform, this is an addition to the ability of the commission to work to better our region.
"I, oddly enough, support this legislation. I absolutely support the integrity of the Council, but it is still bizarre that we have to maintain this fiction of a Commissioner authoring legislation and then passing it down to a Councillor to propose and for us to then debate, while its true author is absent. Commissioners proposing legislation, though thankfully much reduced from the days of the Infernal Affairs Committee, is a fact of European politics. It's sometimes a necessary part of them realising their agenda. This just gets rid of the fiction and allows Commissioners to defend their proposals in Council - nothing more, nothing less."
"I think it's pretty ironic that someone who accuses me of not reading their amendment is the one who seems to have missed the entire point of what I said in the first place.
Yes, I mentioned that this amendment didn't go far enough with reforming the Commission - a point that you recognise yourself. The example I gave was that this amendment wouldn't help getting real changes to the Commission, such as removing Commissioners in a more effeceient manner and replacing them quicker. That's just an example I gave. I didn't mean that this amendment specifically had anything to do with impeaching or removing Councillors. It obviously doesn't and that's the point I made - the point being that this offers no structural differences to the Commission. But that's obviously the purpose of this amendment, which is to not change the structure of the Commission and instead just give it legislative powers.
I find it interesting that you think the vast majority of people don't want Commission reform because two efforts so far haven't reached a super-majority. Nobody will disagree with you that the first attempt was a mess. It's safe to say nobody really liked it. Yet, only 4 nations opposed it, and the same 3 of those nations went on to oppose the next piece of legislation, which received 60% support - which is actually a majority. Those who supported that amendment didn't include the group of nations, such as Miraco and the Duxburian Union, who actually voted to abolish the Commission altogether not long ago. Scarringly enough, that vote almost passed. One of the Councillors who also voted against my proposed reform, that being the Councillor of Sandton, has now gone to say they want reform too. Please don't try and claim that nobody wants to really reform the Commission and that attempts to try and reform it have been defeated with humiliation. The people who actually want reform outnumber those who don't by like 4 to 1.
But apparently the Commission is fine. All it is missing is legislative powers. Obviously. But what do I know - I'm an idiot that doesn't read legislation."
The debate phase is long over and with no amendments proposed it is time for this amendment to move on to the next phase in its life... FINAL VOTING!!
Voting starts NOW and ends at 23:25 on Wednesday 16th March 2016!
On behalf of the United Kingdom of Davishire and Bucks vote ,FOR,the proposed amendment.
I, David Leyonhjelm, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia, vote FOR this amendment.
On behalf of the Microstate of Inquista, I vote AGAINST this amendment.
I, Gisela Stuart, on behalf of the Apostolic Kingdom of Angleter, vote FOR this Constitutional Amendment.
On behalf of the Rightful Majesty of Inimicus I, Ralph Jaevons, vote FOR this amendment.
On behalf of the Federation, I hereby vote FOR this amendment.
I, Acwellan Devoy, on behalf of the Duxburian Union, vote [b]Against[/b] the amendment.
I, Amalia Coppola, on behalf of the Democratic Republic of Sitanova, vote FOR this amendment
I vote AGAINST the proposed amendment.
I, Eloise Murray, on behalf of the Constitutional Monarchy of Miraco, vote FOR this Constitutional Amendment.
I vote FOR this amendment.
I, John Walters, on behalf of the Twelve Commonwealths of Halsberg, vote FOR this constitutional amendment.