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Interregional Government Elections, Policy and Terms

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This topic is for the discussion of the interregional government's elections, its policy to other regions and organizations, and the whereabouts of interregional government terms.

This is what we have now:
--The President, legislature, and foreign minister (if everyone agrees to elect it) are the elected positions of the interregional government.
--There will be a set term length for the positions of the interregional government.

This is what we need to establish:
All positions:
--Will term length be the same for all positions?
--How long should the term length be?
President:
--How will presidential candidates be selected?
--How will president be elected?
--What will the presidential term length be (if we decide to make each position's term a different length)?
Legislature:
--How will legislative candidates be selected?
--What population percentage will be used for the GA?
--How will legislative candidates be elected?
--How will the head of the GA be chosen?
--What will the legislative term length be (if we decide to make each position's term a different length)?
Foreign Affairs Minister:
--How will foreign minister candidates be selected?
--How will the foreign minister be elected?
Policy Toward Foreign Regions:
--Will the interregional government allow regions to request to join the union?
--Will the interregional government authorize agreements such as alliances, war and other treaties?

And here is what I propose:
All positions:
--Uniform term length: I think all the positions should have the same term length, to allow interregional elections and placements to take place at the same time. I suggest a 4-month term.
President:
--Candidate selection: Each region will gather candidates by its own system (nomination, volunteering, party nominations, etc). All candidates MUST write a 1 to 2-paragraph personal statement, which would be submitted to the region's delegate. If a candidate does not write one and submit it, he/she will not be in the election.
--Presidential Election: The delegate of each region will send a regional telegram to their respective region, presenting that region's presidential candidates and their personal statements. That region will vote to choose its most popular candidate. Once each region has chosen its candidate, everyone in all the regions will vote to choose the best of the winners; the prevailing candidate of this election would be placed as president.
Legislature:
--Candidate selection: Each region will gather candidates by its own system. The required number of candidates would be, for the GA, would be the population percentage given rounded to the nearest odd number. For the upper house, each region would produce 4 candidates. If a region lacks the required candidates in time, that region's delegate will appoint the remaining candidates.
--Population percentage for the GA: I suggest each region produce 6% of its population for the GA. Since there are four regions contributing, that will allow for a decent number of legislators, while still keeping the number small enough to manage easily.
--Legislature elections: Each region will vote to select its favorite candidates for both the GA and the upper house (by whatever system used: a vote counter, exposed voting, etc). Each region's winners will be placed in the legislature for the given region.
--Selecting the GA head: I believe the VP should appoint the head of the General Assembly. That would keep things simple and give the VP a little more authority.
Foreign Affairs Minister:
--Foreign Minister Candidate selection: Each region would gather candidates by its own system. Each candidate would be required to write a personal statement just like the presidential candidates; those who do not write one and send it to the delegate will not be counted as candidates.
--Foreign Minister Election: The delegate of each region will send a regional telegram presenting that region's candidates and their personal statements. The region will then vote by its own system to select its favorite candidate; after each region has produced its candidate, everyone will vote to select the best of the winners. The prevailing candidate of the second vote would be placed in office.
Policy Toward Foreign Regions:
--Allowing Requests to join the union: I think foreign regions should have the right to request to join the union. As proposed in the legislature section, a 90% majority would be required to allow the region to join; that prevents all but perhaps a few regions from joining, and allows those that do join to be very acceptable by the populace. Any region that joins should have equal rights in the interregional government as the original regions.
--Authorizing agreements: The interregional government should authorize any form of foreign agreement. This, for one, allows the foreign minister to do his/her job, and also keeps allows the interregional government to act as a single unit rather than a confederation. This would also allow the interregional government to practically form relationships with foreign regions or conglomerates.

Whew! Ok, everybody, post your thoughts!

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Zwotstyg wrote:And here is what I propose:
President:
--Candidate selection: Each region will gather candidates by its own system (nomination, volunteering, party nominations, etc). All candidates MUST write a 1 to 2-paragraph personal statement, which would be submitted to the region's delegate. If a candidate does not write one and submit it, he/she will not be in the election.
--Presidential Election: The delegate of each region will send a regional telegram to their respective region, presenting that region's presidential candidates and their personal statements. That region will vote to choose its most popular candidate. Once each region has chosen its candidate, everyone in all the regions will vote to choose the best of the winners; the prevailing candidate of this election would be placed as president.
I have an idea that might dispel the possible problem of each region voting only for its own candidate. How about a second round is added, in which the top two candidates have an election between them?

Of course there would have to be some kind of limit, so that if one candidate wins a vast majority there isn't a useless second round. Say, if one candidate has over 70% of the vote, a second round isn't held?

Other than that, I agree with everything.

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@Othelos: I actually had that in mind myself. It will complicate things, but I will agree to it to make things more democratic. For those three elections, then, we might as well call them primaries, secondaries, and the final election. The one change I propose is the percentage. It should be set down to 50%, because if one candidate already has over half, they'll win the next election anyway.

Since, as it seems, we have agreed to use running mates for the president and VP, we need to edit the system for that election. Here is the modification, then:
President/VP Candidate Selection:
Each region will use its specific system to produce candidates (i.e. nominations, volunteering, party system). Each presidential candidate MUST have a VP candidate. Both candidates must write a 1 to 2-paragraph personal statement, which would be submitted to the region's delegate. The two personal statements for each set (president and VP) are to be combined in a single telegram, sent to the delegate from the presidential candidate, including the names of both candidates and which office each candidate is running for, attached to the corresponding personal statement (Example: "Nation1, Presidential Candidate--[personal statement], Nation2, Vice-Presidential Candidate--[personal statement]") If either candidate lacks a submitted personal statement, the set will not be considered candidates.
Presidential/VP Election:
The delegate of each region will send a region-wide telegram listing each presidential candidate and his/her running mate, complete with their personal statements. Each region will then vote to choose the most popular candidate of the region. Once that election is concluded, a secondary election will occur, in which all the regions will vote to choose from the regional winners. Then the top two sets of candidates (if a tie has occurred for second place, all tied candidates will be included) will proceed to a final election. The set that wins the third election will be placed as president and VP.

And, since this hasn't been fully described yet, here is the system for the Constitutional Review Committee:
Candidate Selection:
Each region will hold volunteering for candidacy to the Constitutional Review Committee. Each volunteer will send a telegram to that region's delegate, with a 1-2 paragraph personal statement. Without a personal statement, a volunteer will not be a candidate.
Selection
Once volunteering ends, each delegate will select the best two volunteers. The two selected will be placed in office in the Constitutional Review Committee.

Also, there are a few small things we need to specify to fill in gaps:
--Each person may only vote ONCE (if someone controls puppets, only one of their nations may vote and/or hold office)
--Each nation may only hold a single interregional office at one time (this does not include military ranks in the defense organization aside from the defense minister and intelligence minister). Nations may, however, hold an interregional office and a regional office.
--During interregional elections, all votes are to be telegrammed to the region's vote counter and/or delegate, unless specified otherwise.

We also need to specify the nomination and recruitment time for all of the elections. Here are my suggestions:
--President/VP: 3 days for nominations, 3 days for primary elections, 2 days for secondary election, 2 days for final election
--Legislature: GA: 7 days for nominations, 5 days for elections | Senate: 5 days for nominations, 2 days for elections
--Foreign Affairs Minister: 2 days for nominations, 2 days for first elections, 2 days for second election
--Constitutional Review Committee: 2 days for volunteering, 2 days for selection by delegates

And, lastly, we need to specify how these elections would be carried out. I simply suggest we do them in order: first, we do the Presidential/VP elections, which would take 10 days. Then we will do the GA elections, which would take 12 days. Then we will do the Senate elections, which would take 7 days. Then we'd do the Foreign Minister elections, which would take 6 days. We would conclude with the Constitutional Review Committee, which would take 4 days. In total, interregional elections would take 39 days. I suggest that interregional elections begin exactly 42 days before the new term begins. The extra three days would be used for any additional time needed and/or preparatory organization.

Whew again! Let me know what you think of everything I just wrote.

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I agree with everything, except this:

- During interregional elections, all votes are to be telegrammed to the region's vote counter and/or delegate, unless specified otherwise.

I still don't understand why there can't be open and transparent elections. Yeah, someone might want their vote private, but why? No one can bully you, if someone gets mad at you or whatever you can just call them out on it.

Transparency is really important. I really dislike the idea of having everyone secretly vote so no one can verify the results.

Also:

--Legislature: GA: 7 days for nominations, 5 days for elections

Both are too long. 4/2 are good, or at least 5/3.

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@Othelos: On transparent elections, as I've mentioned before, I don't mind voting publicly. However, few other people do, and I can tell you that if we require transparent voting, the other regions aren't going to pass our interregional plan. Take the IWU, for example. We've voted twice on transparent voting, and both times the only people that voted for the idea were me and the author of the proposal. Again, I'm not against it, but I'm concerned over the success of the INU's interregional plan. It's not going to win if transparent voting is required.

On the GA elections, they are that long for a reason. It takes a really long time to get enough candidates for a legislature, and the reason I suggested a week was because we used that in the IWU when it had a legislature. Though we only ever had two legislature elections, neither time did we get all the needed candidates in the week of nominations. I believe a week will be sufficient due to the smaller number of candidates necessary, but it's much better to provide adequate or extra time than to cut things too close and have to deal with eating up extra time. For voting, I will agree to move the time down to 4 days. Fewer people tend to vote in legislature elections because they have to list out all the candidates they like; if you give them more time to set aside to do that, more will vote.

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I guess that's okay. All of this is starting to seem really complicated and drawn out, but I guess that's necessary...I also have no idea how the regions are going to fill all the seats in both governments (regional/inter-regional).

Also, on the transparent voting thing - I understand. I wasn't aiming what I said towards you specifically. It was more of an expression of my frustration on how silly and illogical people can be. Honestly, if someone sees your vote, what's the worst that could happen? If people simply respect other's opinions, things would be so much better on NS and IRL, too. In fact, I think most problems would be solved.

It's just a reality that people aren't always going to vote for their friends/allies. That's actually a good thing; it shows that people can't do whatever they want.

Seriously...so it's so ridiculous how entrenched people can get in their thinking.

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On filling all the seats, I wouldn't worry about that--any nation can hold both a regional and interregional office. The only restriction is that someone can't hold multiple interregional offices. That means once a region reaches the minimum number required for negotiation, 40 (that was established at the beginning of the planning to form the sister regions), it should have enough active members to fill the needed seats in the interregional government.

About the transparent voting, you're right, people can be a bit squeamish sometimes. But I suppose you simply have to work with what you have.

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Will there be a Secretary of Gastronomy? XD If so I'd certainly like to fill that place. Bur seriously I think there should be some sort of Organization to take care of issues related to Regional Food Supplies and Quality to avoid certain things like... I don't know... maybe ask Romanian meat distributors, they might give us a good answer.

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We don't want to make any government positions that are unnecessary. By unnecessary, I mean things that aren't practical duties and are restricted to roleplay, such as a "Minister of Education", "Minister of Commerce" or, as you said, a food-quality organization. Any issues like that are only existent in roleplay, which means the government has no actual authority over it and cannot practically conduct work. That said, we stick to things that can realistically handled by the government.

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okay.

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In one of my old regions, there was a regional university. Minister of Education might work in that case, but that's not something we should be working on atm.

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Again, though, such a regional university is only roleplay, it isn't actual NS matters. In that sense, it does no good to create positions that do nothing but roleplay. The government, in my opinion, should be strictly practical and focused on the real aspects of NS.

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Zwotstyg wrote:Again, though, such a regional university is only roleplay, it isn't actual NS matters. In that sense, it does no good to create positions that do nothing but roleplay. The government, in my opinion, should be strictly practical and focused on the real aspects of NS.
Actually, there was training for positions in the government, which was pretty helpful.

But that was just an aside, anyway.

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That could be useful at some point, but it would most likely be more fit as a regional position instead of interregional.

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Sorry about all the sudden posts, everyone, but I had a lot of things in mind that we should modify or add.

In this case, I'm looking at the term length. As of now, we have decided on a uniform term length of 4 months. However, the election period is already about a month and a half, and may be longer depending on the results of the second vote currently going on. All the regions are inevitably going to be very busy during interregional elections; that means interregional officials will be too occupied to work. As a result, there will essentially be a month and a half taken off of the interregional term, leaving only two and a half to work. That isn't very much, even for an ordinary regional government. I propose, therefore, that we extend the interregional term to 6 months. Not only does that allow adequate time for work, but it also doesn't occur alongside regional elections as often (whereas a 4-month term would fall on the same time every election, meaning elections would be a nightmare of work and organization).\

Thoughts on this as well?

*Also, a note to all of you, I'm going to help everyone out here. After setting up the discussion for the IWU's plan for the interregional government, nobody participated within the allotted time. As a result, I have full authority over the IWU plan. If the INU plan is thought out well enough in my eyes, I will make the IWU plan identical, meaning that the INU plan would have a great advantage in being selected. So far, I believe the INU plan is among the best works of political art I've ever seen in NationStates; provided we continue to cooperate and produce ideas, I believe the INU plan will have little trouble in being selected.

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Six months sounds good. Though i think there really should be a way to streamline the elections to not take so bloody long.

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Six months is okay.

Maybe two elections could take place at once? Elect the entire legislature at the same time, then specific positions (ministers and president), and then the Review Committee.

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Yes, the election length is something of a nightmare, but we have to make sure it remains organized. The problem is that some officials have to write personal statements (which I see as useful for allowing voters to choose people with agreeable views). Having to read all the statements for the candidates of several elections at once could be very difficult, not to mention telegram overflowing if we combine nominations.

Personally, I would prefer that we simply keep them one by one. It's already going to be a lot to deal with having one election at a time--two could simply be chaotic. The only thing I can come up with that might work is that, for the elections of the president and the minister, the nominations begin as soon as the regional votes finish (for example, say the primary president vote is concluded; at that point, nominations for the foreign minister would begin). The others, having to nominate and vote regionally, would be overwhelming to merge. I think it would be wise simply to keep the current election system. Since we are extending the length of the term to 6 months, election time is a much smaller chunk of the term, so it will be considerably easier to handle and we don't have to worry about piling on extra bureaucracy and such.

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Alright, that's fine.

When regional and inter-regional elections coincide, that's going to be a nightmare...

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Well, the good thing is, they'll only coincide once a year, so it'll be handleable. I'd say when it does occur, we just put off the regional one until after the interregional election is finished.

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