Proposed Amendment to the Constitution



  • I do formally propose the following amendments to the constitution


    Amendment 1


    That Section III (II) be amended to the following

    II. Councillors 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, to be adopted at the discretion of the presenter of the proposal.
    (a) Any Amendment(s) proposed during this period shall be voted on for a period of 48 hours to determine if the amendment(s) shall be made. Amendments require a simple majority to pass.


    Amendment 2


    That the following article be inserted into Section IV

    V. The Speaker cannot also be a nations council representative and must maintain an impartial viewpoint during debates.

    Amendment 3


    That all references to "The Speaker" within the constitution be amended to the term "Presiding Officer"


    Debate starts now and ends at 16:38GMT on Saturday 19th December 2015
    Amendment voting begins then and ends at 16:38GMT on the 22nd December 2015
    at which point final voting begins and ends at 16:38GMT on the 25th December 2015 (ho ho ho)



  • "Since this directly affects my position, perhaps I should get the ball rolling? First off, the positives. Amendment 1 is great, I'll support it wholeheartedly. The present system as mandated by the constitution we currently have is ineffectual, with the long debate times allowing bills to simply drop off the radar when a more headline-grabbing, although maybe less important, issue comes along. We need the times to be short enough to keep Councillors and the public engaged and make the process effective, but long enough to make sure there's proper debate. The 48-48-72 system works well as middle ground. As I say, I'd happily support Amendment 1.

    "Amendment 3 is fairly arbitrary. I don't really see the need to change the title, but in all honesty I don't really have strong opinions either way. Both titles mean the same thing, just worded differently. I imagine the vote on this part will come down to Councillors' individual preferences, rather than any real convictions for either name.

    "And now we get to Amendment 2. Like Amendment 3, I don't see the need for this. The Speaker is impartial already. The Councillor that takes on the duties of the Speaker isn't. That's an important distinction to make. The Councillor who's elected Speaker, in this case yours truly, is not impartial when he's acting as the Councillor for his or her country. He's acting just like all the other Councillors, as the representative of his government and home nation. When the duties of the Speaker need to be fulfilled, of course they act impartially. There's no arbitrary ejection of Councillors because I disagree with their views, or any closing of any discussions that don't do me any favors. Amendment 2 is unnecessary, and should be rejected. That there is the Councillor of Halsberg talking, not the Speaker. Because the Speaker is already impartial.



  • " Councillors, the Davishirian Councilor has a point, these debates are not controlled and usually go chaotic and sometimes a marathon of Councillors bashing other Councillors. Plus, we need a concise organized and crisp procedure on debate periods ect.. The Second Amendment is hard for us to address although It does not really affect us all that much. The third amendment is not I suppose we will support. Though does not make a structural difference. Any thoughts?"



  • "The debates are certainly controlled. There is nothing resembling chaos or 'marathons of Councillors bashing other Councillors'. When there is a difference of views, sometimes a passionate one, all voices are allowed to be heard. When there is blatant name-calling or uncontrollable rage coming from Councillors, of course action is taken. Again, there's an important distinction to make, namely passionate debate and malicious or chaotic behavior. The Council isn't a nursery where everyone gets along with smiles and daisies. Although having said that, I don't see the relevance of this non-problem to the other non-problem of the Speaker's impartiality."


  • Admin

    "Regarding the First Amendment, I am happy to support bringing back an amendment period. However, I would like to propose a number of housekeeping amendments to this amendments amendment. The first is that the proposed new Clause III.II.II still says that the presenter of the proposal may accept an amendment as friendly, but Clause III.II.II(a) would contradict that, stipulating that any amendments be voted on. The other one is that the Constitution does not have sub-clauses - the Constitutional Committee was careful to ensure that this Constitution is clearly ordered into Articles, Sections, and Clauses, and I'd much rather we keep that practice rather than screw it up for squeamishness about having to renumber every other clause in the Article. Not least since the Amendment claims to be changing the entire article anyway (and thus theoretically also disposes of Clause I). Thus, with that and the general flow of the Constitution as a whole document in mind, I'd propose changing Amendment I to the following:

    That Section III.II be amended to the following:

    I. A Bill, amendment, repeal, statement, or impeachment is proposed by a Councillor.
    II. Councillors 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, to be adopted at the discretion of the presenter of the proposal.
    III. Should any amendments not be accepted by the presenter of the proposal, Councillors then vote on those amendments for 48 hours. Each vote must be announced in public and is permanent once cast. Amendments require a simple majority of those present, that is, 55% approval of those present, to pass.
    IV. Councillors 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.
    V. 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 oppose the second amendment since it's wholly unnecessary and outright bizarre. Why on Earth should the Council be presided over by someone who is not a member of that entity? Indeed, I'd go as far as to call this amendment as it stands unconstitutional. Clause II.I.II states that "Each member state has the right to one Councillor. Each Councillor is equal and has the same rights. Each Councillor has one vote and can only represent one member state. Each Councillor must be a citizen or legal resident of the member state they represent." That leaves no room for Councillors who are not national Council representatives. And Clause II.IV.I states that "The Speaker is a Councillor responsible for presiding over sessions of the European Council and moderating the legislative process." If the Speaker must be a Councillor, each Councillor must be a national Council representatives, and the Speaker must not be a national Council representative, then what? If we pass this, we literally break the laws of logic. I don't think this Chamber, though important nonetheless, has quite that amount of power.

    Amendment III is completely unnecessary and itself contradicts Amendment II."

    Cllr. Gisela Stuart



  • Might I suggest that rather than renumbering the existing clauses which may have implications for any other legislation which makes reference to those clauses and so will also require amendment, and rather than introducing a concept of sub-clauses that we simply insert a clause between clauses II and III, numbered clause IIB (using B rather than A would allow us room to insert further clauses between clause II and IIB should we so desire at a later stage).

    Miss Stephanie Hughes - EU Councillor


  • Admin

    That would still be a sub-clause, though. It has, however, occurred to be that this can just be tagged on to the end of the original clause. And adding the 55% thing is superfluous and makes changing the definition of a simple majority messier. So I'd like to withdraw my original amendment and instead propose changing Amendment I to the following:

    That Clause III.II.II be amended to the following:

    Councillors 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, to be adopted at the discretion of the presenter of the proposal. Should any amendments not be adopted by the presenter by the end of the debate period, Councillors then vote on these amendments for 48 hours. Each vote must be announced in public and is permanent once cast. Amendments require a simple majority of those present to pass.

  • Admin

    Er, in line with the part of the Constitution that Cllr. Cameron wants to amend, I believe we should now be moving from debate to final voting. On the proposals as they were originally proposed, since Cllr. Cameron hasn't responded to my proposed amendment.



  • Apologies councillor, I was briefly required to return to Davishire. I believe that should the speaker allow for this, we should accept the amendment proposed by my Angletarian colleague.


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