​Councillor Accountability and Democracy Act II


  • Moderator

    Councillor Accountability and Democracy Act II


    Authored by: Cllr. Edward Firoux

    Presented by: Cllr. Edward Firoux


    Section I - Definitions

    I. Councillor - A member state's voting representative to the European Council, as defined by Article II of the European Union Constitution.

    II. Candidate - A person running for a Councillor position.


    Section II - Process

    I. Councillors will be directly elected by the citizens of their respective member states.

    II. Councillors will be elected via democratic elections, which will be open to the entire member state's electorate. A candidate only requires the largest majority of votes in order to win an election, and will then become the member state's Councillor.

    III. Member states will be required to hold a Council election at least once every 24 months. The date for the election will be decided by the individual member state. Should a Councillor pass away, resign or be impeached from office, another election must be called in order to fill the position.

    IV. The process in which a person can nominate themselves and become a candidate will be decided by the individual member state.


    Section III - Rules and Enforcement

    I. The European Council Electoral Commission (ECEC) will be created to monitor Council elections.

    II. The ECEC will be headed by the Commissioner for Internal Affairs. The Internal Affairs Commissioner will select two other politically unaffiliated persons, from differing countries, whom don't hold office in any of the European Union's institutions, to join them in the ECEC. The Commissioner for Internal Affairs reserves the right to dismiss persons from ECEC positions.

    III. ECEC tenures will coincide with Commission tenures.

    IV. The ECEC will be responsible for making sure that Council elections are free from fraudulent voting and that citizens are able to nominate themselves freely.

    V. The ECEC, if reaching a majority decision, may void and call for new Council elections if they believe a Councillor election violated any of the rules outlined in this Act. If a Council election is voided, it must be performed again.


    Debate begins now and will end on January 26 at 04:50 GMT.

    Amendment voting will then begin and conclude on January 28 at 04:50 GMT.

    Final voting will then begin and conclude on January 31 at 04:50 GMT.


  • Commission

    The United Kingdom already has a system like this in place, but views it should not be implemented onto all nations in the European Union. If a Government in a nation is elected and it appoints a Councillor, then that should also be counted as representing the will of the people, as it is the democratically elected government that has its own mechanism for choosing the nation's European Councillor.

    Imposing systemic changes onto national institutions is precisely the thing that Europe should not do, but rather allow nations to come to their own conclusion about the selection of a European Councillor, not to mention the added expense to the nation for having a separate election for Councillor in addition to their own government structures.

    Iain Duncan Smith

    Councillor for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland


  • Moderator

    "If the European Union is to safeguard and promote democracy as our Constitution claims, then it better have democratic legitimacy in doing so.

    For some, this proposal will bring no or limited amount of change. As it stands, a large majority of the Council is directly elected or appointed by elected governments. However, there are governments that are partially elected, or not elected at all, making appointments to this Council. This is especially problematic, and it needs to change. If we are not to democratize Council appointments or give the European people the power to hold their own Councillors accountable, then we are ultimately failing in promoting and safeguarding the values of the European Union, while allowing values counter to these beliefs to take hold."


  • Commission

    It is possible to promote and safeguard values without forcing and imposing them on to people, which could be detrimental to the good will and intentions of the European Union.


  • Moderator

    "Surely the tenant of democracy can't be considered an imposing belief, especially when it comes to the values that EU is supposed to represent? I don't find myself particularly sympathetic to the idea that democracy and choice is a forceful influence, especially in this instance. The European Union already, or well, technically, imposes democracy on national governments under our Constitutions and our Universal Deceleration of Human Rights. What I'm proposing here, while it may require changes to the Councillor selection processes that are decided by our states, it ultimately has everything to do with this Council, rather than our national governments.

    Like I've said, if this Council is going to have any legitimacy in promoting democracy and on speaking on the behalf of democratic values, then at the very least - and I emphasize on the very least - it should be directly and democratically elected by its own people. Particularly doing these times, when the general consensus seems to be that the EU faces constant instability, with our laws and UDHR totally ignored, and our Commission not taken seriously, I think it is very important that we take a stand and recognise our democratic values, and actually implement them."



  • Acwellan Devoy obtained the floor and rose to speak.

    "As an appointed councillor, it may not be appropriate for me to speak on the merits and drawbacks of whether councillors should be elected or not. Therefore, I will recuse myself and my intern, Wesley Greene, will again be empowered to vote the Duxburian Union's interests. Mezlir Greene is a very well-networked young activist and analyst, very plugged into the mind of the Duxburian electorate. I value his judgment and leave the floor to him."

    "Wait…what?" Wesley's face filled up red as an apple.

    "Wesley, I know you are able to tell things as they are, without any sugarcoating or bull. This is a rare and under-appreciated trait in politics these days. If the emperor has no clothes, say it. I won't be offended in any way and I respect your judgment. That's why I am leaving the room, so there isn't pressure. You have no idea how difficult it is to get the truth from people, what they really think, in my position. Just tell the Council how our people really feel."

    Devoy left the chamber, without his weed. After nine years of service, he'd most certainly be primaried by a younger, idealistic challenger. It could easily be the end of his career.

    "Ummm…uhh…"

    Wesley had addressed the Council before, but it had just been a one line procedural thing…this…this was real debate…and he was an…an intern, been in the Office of the European Councillor for a month...

    "Uhh…well…I'm one of the founding members of the Peoples' Alliance, a future Duxburian political party with a very grassroots following. Uhh, I regularly talk with founders of other future parties and their members…with my country switching to the DPR voting system, we, we are undergoing an uncertain chapter in our, umm, electoral history. What is the impact on the position of European Councillor?"

    Wesley grew more comfortable and settled into his speech.

    "Despite being an appointed position, there is no pressure I know of for it to be elected. The big battles are going down locally, as that's where the power is. The Peoples' Alliance is focused on taking back towns and cities from corrupt boards and commissions. Local elections are going to be all-out war between competing new parties. There is great apathy for dominion and federal level races. This is why the 3 big legacy parties are headed for collapse and will likely not survive DPR, the electorate is shifting rapidly away from their model. Voters have figured out where real power rests. Several new parties are looking to form coalitions of towns and cities. We could be looking at the end of Dominions as political entities in their current form, and many federal districts will need to be redrawn. I can't say for sure what is going to happen, but this is the trend I am seeing.

    However, I do know that there is strong sentiment against Commission management of councillor elections. There isn't a specific objection other than that it strikes nerves of a very powerful anti-Commission undercurrent circulating through the electorate. Ironically, the Commission used to be seen as trying to do too much, now it's seen as not doing enough. If you talk to Duxburians on the street, they'll tell you it's quite complicated. The Commission has just never been on the same page as the Duxburian people and they have finally had enough with it. It's a pretty dangerous sentiment, the level of distrust and discontent runs amazingly deep. They recently voted in favor of dissolving the Commission, which didn't fail by much, so they are certainly not alone.

    So, not having Commission involvement in the election of Councillors would go a long way in ensuring trust in the democratic process. While Duxburians do not generally get excited about the Council, it is widely supported as an institution and enjoys a high level of legitimacy. Outside of various Davishire-related constitutional crises, I rarely hear complaints about the Council itself, the way I hear complaints about the Commission as a body. When people aim their complaints at an institution, you have quite a problem on your hands.

    Given all this, ultimately I believe the Duxburian electorate will not really care if the Councillor is elected or not. The current arrangement may not be as representative as some would hope for, but it has been very stable. Councillor Devoy has given us nine years of rock solid stability in the position and he's worked well with Aelir Dehn and Steward Maximillian. That's more important than it sounds, as fundamental disagreement between the head of state and the councillor could result in constitutional crisis. The head of state is elected every 5 years, the proposal for councillor election is minimum every 2 years, if I understand your Gregorian calendar correctly. An Aelir can serve 2 consecutive terms, so they could conceivably have to deal with minimum 5 different councillors, and that's if they get along with all 5. Do you see how this could be a huge problem? I mean, Duxburians favor democracy, but that's a lot of elections. They are already asked to go to the polls frequently with our local direct democracies. Do we really need elections for everything?

    That's all, although I don't believe that Councillor Devoy intends to return for the rest of this proposal process, so I think I've got the ability to propose amendments. I'd like to propose a few."

    [i]II. Councillors will be elected via democratic elections, which will be open to the entire member state's electorate. A candidate only requires the largest [b]plurality[/b] of votes in order to win an election, and will then become the member state's Councillor.[/i]

    "I proposed this amendment because it required a majority before. If no one wins a majority, the country could be stuck with no councillor. In contested elections, it might be structurally impossible for anyone to win a majority."

    [i]III. Member states will be required to hold a Council election at least [b]as frequently as they hold general elections, or every 2 years.[/i]

    "This amendment would give countries the ability to sync the council election with their general elections. If they don't want to do that, or if they don't have general elections, then they can opt for 2 years. I also closed the months loophole. The Aelirian Calendar is the legal calendar of the Duxburian Union and it doesn't have months. The European Union has no legal calendar, and it has never defined how long a month is. Therefore, the Duxburian government could otherwise ignore all the requirements in Council legislation that are listed in months. Allowing countries to ignore Council requirements could lead to constitutional crises, and that would be bad."

    [b]Wesley Greene[/b]

    [i]Intern of the Duxburian Union[/i]


  • ECoJ

    Councillor Tournay sat alone on the outreaches of the chamber, as usual, ignored by most of his counterparts, as usual, he'd already attempted to resign from this tiresome effort constantly ignored at the Europolis bars, in the committees and even this chamber, however Lady Alexandra Mountdora refused, he just wanted once not to be ignored and his arguments considered. As usual he went through his paper copy of the legislating highlighting and annotating and was worried by a section.

    "Although I generally applaud this legislation for ensure the democratic views and responsibilities of the Union and her counterparts, however I am worried about the timing of the legislation - but I will not go into this for it is unnecessary.

    However the following section causes me difficulties

    "The ECEC will be responsible for making sure that Council elections are free from fraudulent voting and that citizens are able to nominate themselves freely."

    However the act makes no progress in defining fraudulent voting or stating how it will ensure it and I such propose the following amendment to the section.

    "The ECEC will be responsible for making sure that Council elections are free from error or fraudulent voting through working with national electoral commissions or equivalents to ensure the neutrality of there commissions and by being able to vet vote counters and observe national elections for the Council members. Furthermore the ECEC will be alert for political bullying and crimes that could sway the national electorate.""


  • Moderator

    "Thank you, Mr. Greene. Duxburian insight is always profoundly refreshing, even though it often seems abstract to the insight of other Councillors. You do raise good points however, and I find both your amendments more than welcome.


    Councillor Tournay, this bill does not need to define what fraudulent voting is. Defining such a thing would be extraordinarily complicated, and as your amendment shows, is confusingly inefficient. That will be for the ECEC and the Internal Affairs Commissioner to decide as they monitor the various elections. Should the ECEC find an election suspect, on whatever grounds they define as voter fraud, then may void the election if they reach a majority decision. Each ECEC may be run differently, and some may be more strict, or lax than others, but I imagine that comes with electing our own Internal Affairs Commissioner. Should you be unhappy with how an Intenal Affairs Commissioner is running the ECEC, then one could always vote for another one in the next Commission election, or more drastically, try to impeach them from office."



  • Gisela Stuart stood to speak.

    “Well, I’m also an appointed Councillor, and I think it’s more than appropriate to talk about this proposal. Why? Because I am here to represent the Apostolic Kingdom of Angleter – indeed, when we cast our votes, do we not say, ‘I, Name, on behalf of the X of Y, vote for or against this bill’? The Constitution says the same. Clause II.I.II says “each member state” – not ‘electorate’, not even an ambiguous term like ‘nation’ – “has the right to one Councillor.” It goes on to say that “each Councillor… can only represent one member state,” thus confirming that the role of a Councillor is to represent their member state. It’s a simple application of the basic diplomatic principle that a state, a government, is recognised as the sole legitimate representative of its people. I represent the Apostolic Kingdom of Angleter, which in turn represents the people of Angleter.”

    “Unfortunately, this bill undermines that principle. It forces countries to have two separate but equally legitimate representatives in foreign policy – the elected Councillor who controls the votes in the European Council, including elections to the Commission and ECoJ; and the government, which controls everything else. And of course these two representatives would not necessarily agree with each other – the Councillor could be a member of the Opposition and could use the Council to oppose, vote against the wishes of, and otherwise generally humiliate their governments. Thus would the Council become a playing field for member states’ internal political conflicts.”

    “This development is deeply concerning. It effectively abolishes the Council as a diplomatic chamber of government representatives, and transforms it into an elected Parliament of the European Union. Our countries reduced from states to mere constituencies. This is, therefore, the most openly federalist piece of legislation that this Chamber has seen in years, and Angleter will wholeheartedly oppose it. Indeed, it even fails to fully implement democracy in this chamber – the Councillor from Fremet would represent a constituency of 47 million, while the Councillor from the Duxburian Union would represent a constituency of 440 million. If you want the Council to become a democratic federal Parliament, at least go all the way.”

    “For other complaints, my first would be the establishment of ECEC. Pan-European oversight of nationwide elections is a major assault on national sovereignty in itself. And quite where you’d find ‘politically unaffiliated’ people is beyond me. As regards electing Councillors, we even have the voting system laid out for us – first-past-the-post. And what’s more, I find the expectation that a Council seat go vacant from the vacancy arising until an election bizarre – someone, perhaps nominated by the outgoing Councillor, should be able to fill that role while an election can be organised. I’d thus like to propose the following amendment:”

    III. Member states will be required to hold a Council election at least as frequently as they hold general elections, or every 2 years. The date for the election will be decided by the individual member state. Should a Councillor pass away, resign or be impeached from office, another election must be called in order to fill the position. Until a new Councillor is elected, an Acting Councillor, having been nominated by the previous Councillor, will fulfil the duties of Councillor.

    “But the point remains that Angleter finds this Bill wholly unacceptable and incompatible with its status as an independent nation-state. We will go to every length possible in opposing it. And I urge the Council to ask itself does it want the European Union to remain a diplomatic body of sovereign member states, or does it want a federal Europe governed by a Parliament of representatives of constituencies that differ wildly in size?”


  • Moderator

    Firoux couldn't help but continue to daydream as Councillor Stuart stood to address the bill. The way her voice cracked as she spoke with vigor and disgust, and the way her eyes twinkled as she threatened to oppose this bill made Firoux feel like he had butterflies in his stomach. Firoux liked it when they played hard to get, and Councillor Stuart was certainly making him work fast in his chase. As Councillor Stuart sat down, Firoux immediately sprang up.

    "All Councillors in this chamber vote on behalf of their respective states, and when we go to cast our votes, you are right, we are not voting on behalf of X of Y. This bill in no way shape or form conflicts with this principle, simply because it allows a state's people to directly have a voice. Many of our Councillors now, including myself, are directly elected and we continue to represent all our people, even though we were not necessarily supported by all. I'd argue that elected Councillors actually better represent all of X, and not just Y of X, seeing as they are directly chosen by X, and accountable to X, rather than a being an appointee chosen from Y, the national governments, which were chosen from X."

    Firoux stopped for a minute and whispered to himself, "This is reminding me calculus... oh, what awful times." Firoux then gazed back up to Councillor Stuart and his heart was instantly lifted again.

    "You are right though, Councillor Stuart, in that this bill could potentially lead to a divergence in foreign policy by national governments and their Councillors. However, you're assuming that such a thing doesn't already happen, or that such a thing is totally unwarranted. Councillors are given the right to vote whichever way they wish, and that includes voting for and against beliefs expressed to them by their government. I can think of many instances where appointed Councillors voted in ways their governments did not approve of. Simply put, just because Councillors are appointed doesn't mean it won't already lead to differences in foreign policy. Is this wrong? No, not at all. It's especially by no means wrong if the Councillor's people specifically chooses them not to. If the people of a state want to make a choice between a dynamic option of having a seperate EU-policy and state-to-state foreign policy, then let them. They can decide on that. If they don't want that, then they equally get to decide that. For instance, I have different political stripes from my dear, dear friend, His Holiness, the Archbishop of Inquista. Inquistans very clearly decided to choose a dynamic agenda: one of choosing a national government that wants to promote religious conservatism within the country and abroad within its own Foreign minsitry, while also choosing a pro-European EU agenda with their Councillor. Despite our political differences, we both represent that state of Inquista, and we represent all of the people in it. If the people of state wanted to choose a unified front, then again, by all means they can choose that.

    The notion that this is also creating a parliament is absurd. I can get what you're trying to say in theory, but this hasn't happened in practice. More Councillors are directly elected currently than, say, the Frank-Commission era of the Council. During the Frank era, everything had to do with the political parties of the respective Councillors and less so do with representing the actual countries. Anyone recall the Occoronian Councillor? 4 parties. 2 weeks. Those days were far more politicized, and I would argue that the Council at that time did not represent a diplomatic chamber of government representatives. Hardly, if any Councillor at all, during those days were directly elected. This Council, more than ever, does represent a chamber of state representatives. We've especially seen that recently with the discussions on the Framptonian interest rate debacle, and the ensuing fallout of that. That had everything to with state politics and nothing of parliamentary-esque politics. These are the types of debates we're seeing more often now. But come on, seriously? This bill would reduce the EU to a 'federal Europe governed by a Parliament of representatives of constituencies that differ wildly in size'? That's simply ridiculous. Even you must recognize that is a hyperbole. This bill is very fair in protecting national sovereignty, and it in no way federalizes the EU. Nothing about it would create a parliament or constituencies, and as I've already explained, history and example has already proven this. If that were to be the case, then we would be seeing a coinciding trend of federalization with the amount of directly elected Councillors present in this chamber. That has not been a trend, and indeed, the reverse has actually been true. I would argue that by reviving a type of party system, such as your very own Eurogroup bill, will do far more to create a European parliament than this ever could.

    You do make a good catch though, Councillor Stuart, with your amendment. I believe that along with your amendment, and that of those made by Mr. Greene, that this would patch this up into bill a fine piece of legislation. I have no doubt that you will continue to go to great lengths to oppose this bill, and I am sure you will do it well, seeing as you've already mastered the art of going at great lengths to avoid phoning my number and ignoring me. What sort of far lengths must a man go in order to go on a date with a woman? I'm sure I could reach far enough - I don't want to end up like him", Firoux finally said with a wink, as he pointed to the poor lonesome Councillor at the back.



  • Mass Effect RP

    Voting on amendments is now open. We have four to vote on, two proposed by the capable Intern of the Duxburian Union, Wesley Greene, one from Angleter's Cllr. Stuart and one from Poretos' Cllr. Tournay. Amended text is highlighted


    Mr Greene's amendments, which deal with Section II, Clauses II and III:

    II. Councillors will be elected via democratic elections, which will be open to the entire member state's electorate. A candidate only requires the largest plurality of votes in order to win an election, and will then become the member state's Councillor.
    III. Member states will be required to hold a Council election at least as frequently as they hold general elections, or every 2 years.

    Cllr. Stuart's amendment, dealing with Section II, Clause III. Its worth noting that while the amendment is worded to complement one of Mr Greene's, the two are not mutually exclusive.

    III. Member states will be required to hold a Council election at least as frequently as they hold general elections, or every 2 years. The date for the election will be decided by the individual member state. Should a Councillor pass away, resign or be impeached from office, another election must be called in order to fill the position. Until a new Councillor is elected, an Acting Councillor, having been nominated by the previous Councillor, will fulfil the duties of Councillor.


    Councillor Tournay's amendment to Section III, Clause IV:

    IV. The ECEC will be responsible for making sure that Council elections are free from error or fraudulent voting through working with national electoral commissions or equivalents to ensure the neutrality of there commissions and by being able to vet vote counters and observe national elections for the Council members. Furthermore the ECEC will be alert for political bullying and crimes that could sway the national electorate.


    Voting on the above begins now, and ends at 04:50 GMT, 28/01/16



  • "Cllr. Tournay also proposed an amendment."


  • Mass Effect RP

    "Ah yes of course, apologies! I've corrected the list of amendments at vote."


  • Moderator

    On behalf of the Microstate of Inquista, I vote FOR Councillor Stuart's amendment and both of Mr. Greene's amendments. I vote AGAINST Councillor Tournay's amendment.


  • ECoJ

    On behalf of the 2nd Constitutional Monarchy I vote FOR all the ammendments.



  • I, Gisela Stuart, ON BEHALF OF THE APOSTOLIC KINGDOM OF ANGLETER, vote FOR Mr. Greene's and my amendments, and AGAINST Cllr. Tournay's.


  • Moderator

    Both of Mr. Greene's amendments have been approved, along with Councillor Stuart's amendment. Coincillor Tournay's amendment is defeated.


    On behald of the Microstate of Inquista, I vote FOR this bill.



  • I vote for this bill.


  • Mass Effect RP

    I, John Walters, on behalf of the Twelve Commonwealths of Halsberg, vote AGAINST this bill.


  • ECoJ

    "Inimicus formally ABSTAINS from voting on this bill."

    Ralph Jaevons


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to NS European Union was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.