Local Council that can split in 2 In my constitution proposal the national council is 50 persons by definition, so are the (optional) "province level" and (optional) city-wide councils (these latest 2 are not in the proposed constitution). These councils have no size problem, the number 50 can easily be changed. The local councils formed by delegates directly elected by their voter groups have a size of 50 or larger. Once the size is 100 (as shown), the council can split up in 2. Hence the size would vary between 50 and 100 or even a little over 100 (to avoid constant shifting between 2 and 1 council on the 100 border). When putting 100 average persons together and ask them to have a meeting, even if subdivided into grouplets of 10 submeetings ... well, even that might work. Fortunately in a local council the delegates where already selected for the task, being willing to do it, hence it will probably be made to work. Mathematically thinking a council of 100 persons could be relatively rare. Suppose there is a local council somewhere, it is having another council in each of the 4 directions. Once these 5 local councils each possess 60 delegates, they have a total of 50 delegates in excess above the norm that could form a new council of 50. When there are some new delegates seeking a council to belong to, if there are no other reasons they might as well join the smallest in the neighborhood. I'd think council size somewhere between 40 to 60 would be relatively ok ? With motivated delegates and a functional subgroup division, good record keeping and so on, the larger sizes could still work more or less, at least be functional Governments. When the grouplets work well, a "grand debate" would be very well rehearsed and understood before it actually begins. In that sense the "grand debate" could almost become a formal debating and voting ritual about an issue already decided on. If a lot of delegates in practice do not always show up, or only on certain issues, the size problem reduces. If some delegates tend to show up only for subgroup meetings, and leave the grand debate of the entire council to their grouplet brothers and sisters - even to raise their hand for them - the potential size problem for the grand debate reduces. It is worthwhile to notice that the Haudenosaunee worked with "spoke persons." The use of people who can speak well and clearly on behalf of others in a grand debate could make things more transparent for everyone. Speaking to a large audience may be difficult as well as daunting, it may be so challanging that some valuable opinions won't be heard at all. It might be an idea, for instance, that each grouplet possesses at least one person who can speak well, and who could vocalize opinions and ideas from their grouplet brothers and sisters as well as their own ideas. Everyone who wants to talk for himself could do so, and everyone who wants to use the grouplet spokesperson would find the grouplet spokesperson willing to bring the idea forward in a clear way. Since not all ideas the spokesperson would be vocalizing would be his or her own, he or she would feel less intimidated in addressing a lot of persons, because right or wrong it is not always his or her own ideas. The spokespersons would become better at their task and this might also help the proceedings become clearer. It is maybe useful that a potential grouplet spokesperson is somehow identifyable as being the grouplet spokesperson, and when he or she is talking on behalf of the group, one individual, or him or her self. If the grouplet has a name (or color), the spokesperson could somehow hold on to a symbol representing that name (or color) when speaking for the majority of the grouplet. When speaking for one specific individual (an opinion the spokesperson might not agree with perhaps), the spokesperson could stand in front or near the concerning person, or have his or her hand on his or her shoulder, or so. When speaking for him or her self, he or she could sit or stand in the position all the other members would also be sitting/standing when speaking on their own behalf. And or alternatively the spokesperson could lie down the spokesperson symbol, if any, to speak for him or her self. A spokesperson could also be used as a hearing person. Speaking is an art, listening might be an even more difficult art. Suppose some member wants to address someone in another grouplet, but has a hard time reaching him or her. He or she could address the matter to the spokesperson of that grouplet, who once understanding the matter could forward it to the concerning grouplet member(s). A difference in how quickly something is understood will be resolved this way, if at least the spokesperson is him or her self quick to understand. In an ideal case a long winded debate about something obvious to almost all, addressing a grouplet member, could be resolved with the question to the spokesperson to explain the issue to a certain member of his group. That explanation might then even be done after the grand debate is over. It may then of course become apparent that there is another problem, like a real difference of opinion, which could then be later communicated back and forth between the grouplets and eventually in a grand debate. It might be an interesting idea that every member of a council has the power to postpone a vote on an issue for a day. That way, if a person feels oppressed in a debate because it simply is not understood what he or she was saying or somehow feeling steamrolled and ignored, the person would have the power to attract a lot of attention to it self with such a move. Of course, if abused, such a power could become limited to "one issue once a month / year" and so on. Seems it could be a useful byrule, like a fuse in a circuit that can suddenly break down stopping the entire system for some time. I imagine that the smaller councils, nearer 50 people, will have a much easier time debating and voting. On the other hand 50 people still is quite a few. I suppose a well run council makes the laws for itself that it needs to operate efficiently and satisfactoraly. Some councils may need nothing at all, not even a chair person. Other councils might be so chaotic they need even more rules then those suggested here, or different rules. Hard to say, isn't it, since there are so many different peoples and regions and so on in the world, and this is supposed to be functional for everyone. Good record keeping can be very helpful in finding out what works and what doesn't. Since the proceedings are supposed to be public, you might even take accurate record keeping and then allowing everyone to see the records as a constitutional obligation under the rule that "all proceedings are public." One good day, some scientists will come along, or some bright people or who knowns, and launch an investigation in what works well, what doesn't work, and so on. Records about what has happened might be useful for them to investigate. In any case, it would be the history of the people, the records would become the memory of the people. That must be worthwhile to invest in a bit. Another idea is to start a grand debate with some soup or tea & coffee, eating & drinking tends to be calming and fun, a good way to start a debate of some sort with greater unity and fewer nerves and apprehensions (hopefully). posted on Wednesday, April 01, 2009 12:15 PM Comments No comments posted yet. Needless to say the voter-groups can organize in exactly the same way as the councils, and do exactly the same work. The difference would be the voter group only has the power to ask and force ("you vote our will or we will find another who will") its delegate to communicate and vote in the councils the way the voter group wants. The voter group can not make Government decisions like the councils can. Voter group involvement can range from 1 vote in 5 years for a representative, to daily debates about everything and everyone, from the simplest local issues to the grandest international problems. Naturally a voter group, comprising of people, has the power and right - obligation - to inform other people, councils, and to start a petition for a binding referendum. Someone might say "it is the job of Government to be Government, and the job of the people to be the people." I would think that is an individual choice. The Government would work better the more people involve themselves with it, that is beneficial to the way the Government is the will of the people. The benefit of being an involved voter group, is that it is low key and not as responsible as the councils. The same fun, but less burden. Would also be good training for the real councils. * I thought it would be a good bylaw perhaps, with the spokespersons (the Haudenosaunee stress the importance of unity and unanimity): if unanimity is achieved withis the grouplet, the spokesperson holds on (wears?) not to 1 but 2 symbols for that grouplet. If something is said with 2 symbols denoting unanimity, that will no doubt cause the rest of the council to account for that in what is being said. Because of that, there will be a push for unanimity in the grouplets, because they would want to present ideas with that bonus to others. The push for anonimity will cause dissenting minorities to be heard to a far greater extend. That is important for overall unity, but also because the minority may very well prove right after longer thinking. When there are 2 grouplets already in unanimous agreement about something, and another grouplet is approached (outside of the grand debate), the proposal can likewise be done with 2 times the first and 2 times the second grouplet symbols, clearly and continually signalling a strong agreement. Then if the next grouplet merely supports it in majority, going to a fourth grouplet could only be done with 2 times the first, 2 times the second and 1 time the third grouplet symbols. Thus clearly denoting where dissent is located, where it can be readily found no doubt, for discussion and so on, even by the fourth grouplet members. Of course a dissenting opinion is of interest when considdering a proposal. During the grand debate of all grouplets together, when a proposal is recounted for instance by the originating grouplet spokesperson, he or she could be holding on to the supporting grouplets symbols, as many as would be gathered by majority or unanitimy. This would then very easily identify sources of pre-meditated opposition to the proposal (complete rejection or wishing for doing things different). If the blue grouplet sends in only one symbol, the yellow, red and white send in both, and the brown send in 1, after the proposal was recounted it makes sense that the blue and brown groups explain their position. It could then be debated further to see if positions change with more debating or more time, maybe it is possible to find a common ground that all can be satisfied with. If not, it would be time to vote under majority rule. If the wait for unanimity becomes eternal, it would be minority rule, which is hurting more people in their will. A benefit of having each grouplet having one capable spokesperson, is that power is spread out inside the council (or voter group). The debating power is distributed better, and also put to service for everyone. It seems to make sense that the council (voter group) would make sure each grouplet has one capable speaker. Imagine the opposite: people of like mind and skill would more easily congregate together, forming a powerful subgroup, with or without grouplet subdivisions. Everyone will be in easy reach of a relatively good speaker, according to the standards of the council. Some of the better speakers could become chair-person, while the power of the chair-person is moderated by the collective and individual power of the grouplet spokespersons. Who can quite easily interject, obstruct, call for a vote for a new chair-person, and so on, because they are already talking quite a bit and get the ear of the council. There is of course always present the nightmare of the dictatorial council chairman, who somehow is able to manipulate the whole council into being a slave to his (her?) will. 1 chair-person, 49 non-chair-persons, but chair-person has no vote. 1 chair-person, 5 grouplet spokespersons, 45 grouplet members (chair person is also a grouplet member). It might be best if the chair-person is not also the grouplet spokesperson. What I also thought was a good idea: decide per debate who is going to be chair-person, since the person doing it is likely more or less neutral on the issue since he or she would be giving up his or her vote on the issue. This council housekeeping impartial proceedings-service minded attitude is exactly what is needed in the chair-person. You can also have a more dedicated council chair-person, but often have the position change for the duration of a debate to the most impartial (but still capable enough) person. I suppose it might also help proceedings if grouplet members are not only identifiable into their function (voter, delegate, chair person, twice elected delegate, province delegate, national delegate, electoral committee, grouplet spokesperson), but also by their grouplet. The more obvious the structure is, the more transparent and efficient things could end up being. This also for people coming new to the councils (voter groups), and people reporting on it from the outside. When the structure is well maintained and displayed, that of course translates in adherence to protocol, order, it is a show of support for the protocol(s) which translates into them being honored. A very cheap method for grouplet identification is a colored peace of paper, with the spokesperson being specially identified with a circle drawn on the color. Grouplet majority would for instance be one circular other peace of paper in hand, grouplet unanimity would for instance be two peaces of paper (and so on for other grouplets in the council). Symbols would be similar to the voter function identifier, which is something most people probably won't wear because there are so many voters anyway (presumably) so what is the use (not too much, probably not worth it especially once the system is established well). Function identifiers would be mostly the same in one council (voter group), so the grouplet and grouplet spokesperson identifiers would stand out easily. The wearing of some official symbology would probably instill a sense of purpose. I suppose one could wear them only during session or constantly, whatever one wants (because the value of everyone having to wear symbols all the time isn't so great at all, and a really significant mostly unnecessary burden). Constant wearing of symbols seems mostly useful for the elected delegates, so the public can approach and find them all the time. That is only maybe 1% or 2% of the people, and even that would be optional. Wearing function identifiers during a council isn't that useful, since most would be the same anyway. Maybe it is much easier just to somehow mark chairs with the different colors, or hang a colored string above each group of 10 chairs, grouplets would likely sit together anyway. That seems easier. * I'm having a council teetering on the brink of collapse in mind when thinking about all these byrules: "what can just keep it from collapsing." The more chaos, the more rules needed. For some councils doing all here suggested rules would be useless and wasting time. Why wouldn't it be quite enough to say if something was majority or unanimous in a grouplet ? It depends on what kind of people sit on that council, for how much constant clarity is needed. Would it be clearer to wave around with grouplet colors when making official proposal statements, I think it would be. Is it another burden to carry, of course. My goal is just to make things so orderly, transparent and efficient, that once this system is being attempted it will work right away. If things turn out to be an unnecessary burden: cut them out. Better too much order and transparency preventing national (international?) chaos, then having a few too many bylaws to contend with. Can always cut down later. Having one place where these laws are proposed already, also suggest some more or less arbitrary byrules, can ensure that there is at least one set of byrules suggested in one place that would likely be visited by a lot of people if these laws end up being done. That more widespread familiarity with a set of byrules makes them more effective by being widely recognized. "Why is that man having a yellow circle in his hand ?" ... "Oh, that is probably denoting majority but not unanimous consent with what is said by the yellow grouplet over there." ... "What in heavens name is a grouplet ?" ... and so on. "What does it mean now that the same person is saying things without holding anything ?" ... "That means he speaks for himself." ... "How do you know the byrules of the council for this village which is in the middle of nowhere ?" ... "Because they use the byrules suggested from the same site that inspired our new economic model, many people know them because they read up on that work a more extensively, or read some works by people who did a much better job at explaining things then the original site ever has." So, that gives me a good reason to make a lot of byrules. Whether they'd be good or substandard, having them suggested together with economics and a Constitution for which they are meant can make them more useful for that reason alone. "What does it mean that this person someone stands on the left, sometimes on the right, and sometimes remains at his place while speaking ?" ... "That is their way to signal unanimity, majority or speaking for him or herself by the grouplet spokesperson in this council." Basically the same, but different, still easily understood by anyone familiar with here suggested byrules. "I don't see any grouplet structure here." ... "That is because they don't do any byrules." Also clear, and then it must apparently be a council willing and able to handle themselves that way. "What does it mean `Yellow grouplet convenes on thursday at 17:00 for the Sheng Fong council.'" ... "Why don't you know that, the whole world more or less knows what that means, go do your homework !" In the end, only the doing it could probably prove if the system would work (well enough). Or to put it differently: if this system has been designed for this or another (fantasy) humanity (barring contradictions). Many/most of these byrules where inspired/taken from the Haudenosaunee (altered though, I guess making it a bit more abstract), where it apparently worked.