Confirmation of Senators Act

Confirmation of Senators Act 2024

Article 3.2 of the Constitution is amended to read as follows.

The Senate may admit citizens in good standing, who have continuously held their citizenship for six months, as senators by a two-thirds majority vote. No Senator will take office who has not been confirmed by the Ecclesia by two-thirds majority vote. Should a senator forfeit their citizenship, they shall forfeit the office of senator.

Summary: this bill requires that all new admissions to the Senate be confirmed in the Ecclesia by two-thirds majority vote.

Currently, the Senate is an immensely powerful institution in the region. In the mechanical sense, Senators are trusted to hold a high number of endorsements and a large amount of regional influence. Carcassonne as a region is particularly vulnerable to raids, especially given the increasingly large number of updaters the raider faction can muster at update times. If a raider plant became a Senator, the question as to when Carcassonne would be raided is not one of if we will be raided, but when the raid will occur, and how the resistance effort will proceed. With the already large amount of native endorsements and influence level a Senator would hold, a counter-invasion would be a very difficult prospect.

It would be foolish to imagine this as a far-fetched scenario. An illustrative example is the unfortunate fate of the region Magna Aurea. This region, at the time a frontier, was subject to a large-scale invasion by the raider faction, requiring a concerted effort over the course of approximately 14 days of consecutive siege operations to prevent its destruction. When the region was ultimately returned to native control, the WA delegacy was given to the presumptive native leader of the region, Ovenerium. In order to secure the region against future invasion, the decision was made, with defender support, to make the region a governorate, with Ovenerium as the governor. Ovenerium was, in fact, Ben of The Black Hawks; the moment that they were made governor, they betrayed the native community and handed the region to the control of TBH. Magna Aurea no longer exists as a sovereign entity; indeed, the manipulative antics of The Black Hawks and Sparkalkia mean that the core community of the region no longer exists either.

We are a community that is more established, and with more gameplay experience, than Magna Aurea was. That does not mean that we are immune to the same risks. Infiltration is an occurrence which has happened to regions far more established and experienced than we are. Our open political culture, status as a region experiencing growth, and most critically, lack of an executive governor with absolute mechanical power, are both qualities that make infiltrations more feasible to execute. This is not to say that either of them are bad things; merely that we must take them into account.

Given the associated risks, we should only appoint to the Senate those in whom we place absolute trust. We should consider the constitutional minimum requirements to join the Senate to be just that: minimum requirements. All Senate nominees must be subject to a very high degree of scrutiny, and a very high bar of service to the region to be appointed ought to be presumed. Earlier, someone suggested to me something, to the effect that the Senate is designed to be composed of most citizens who have been in the region for a period of longer than six months. That is not an feasible way for the Senate to continue to process applications. On that basis, my belief is that the process by which citizens are admitted to the Senate requires a higher degree of oversight than it currently possesses.

In a less immediately grave sense, the Senate currently possesses a high degree of political powers in the region. It has the power to select the Monarch, in effect hand-picking the region’s WA delegate, and has a number of other political powers assigned to it in the constitution. In our system, which consists of a democratic constitutional monarchy, an institution that wields considerable political power should not as insulated from the popular will as the Senate is.

On that basis, I am proposing legislation to require Ecclesia confirmation of Senators by two-thirds majority vote. I think this a reasonable and limited change that does not fundamentally alter the balance of powers in the region.