Casting Votes in the European Council
I am using the Speaker's responsibility to set what constitutes a valid vote to make some guidelines that will make record keeping easier in the Council, as well as clear up some previous issues.
1. Please, from now on, declare your name when casting a vote. Example:
"I, Acwellan Devoy, on behalf of the Duxburian Union, vote FOR the bill".
This will make maintaining Council records MUCH easier. If you do not declare a name, your vote will still count, but I can't guarantee that the records will be correct. Consider helping make it easier to attribute the right councillor with the right vote.
2. Voting by proxy is only constitutional outside of this body. You cannot delegate your vote (vote by proxy) in the European Council or in a Council Committee. You can, however, vote by proxy in a Commission Committee. Note the difference between a Council Committee (example: ECC) vs a Commission Committee (example: IAC).
3. An abstention does not count for or against a proposal. It also does not count in the vote total. Else, it would have the same effect as against. Casting a vote as abstain is a null vote, usually a symbolic gesture.
4. Time-sensitive phases open and close automatically in the Council. A voting phase starts when the constitutionally-mandated amount of time passes, even if no one declares it open. Outside of the Council, such as in Commission Committees, the actual length of phases is at the discretion of the chair.
5. Votes that aren't publicly declared when cast do not count. You must post your vote.
6. Votes cast before or after the legal phase also do not count. Note the timestamps and plan accordingly.
7. Votes cast in a committee you are not a member of also do not count, for obvious reasons.
I don't see any reason why voting by proxy should be allowed in Commission Committees.
The votes within a Commission Committee are non binding and ever changing. These votes are symbolic showings of support of a proposed idea. The votes within Council are binding and unchangeable. If a proposal is voted down in a Commission Committee, it can still be brought to the council. A vote should be able to be proxied in a Commission Committee, because the result of the vote does not actually hold any weight nor indeed does it truly matter in a constitutional sense.
It is really up to each individual commissioner whether or not to allow voting by proxy in their committees. It is otherwise allowed by default since the Constitution does not mention commission committees and they are not part of the Council.