Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

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Are you currently happy with the current democratic state of Forumshire and the relationship between the Adminship and prominent press organizations?

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Total Votes : 10

Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by azriel on Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:03 pm

Freedom & democracy go hand in hand, skipping thru proverbial daisies Smile Someone has to be God, Petty is too soaked in Buckie, Orwell lives upside down, Mrs Figg plays with her pussy, The Scandinavian deployment are Ice Giants, poor old Ringo has to keep his pinks pink, Lance is always on a mission so secret he forgets, Forest is camouflaged in the ..er...Forest, Bungo is at far too many Charlie Brown concerts, Chris is motivated by mucky jokes & football Smile , & Eldo is busy being a cookie selling girl scout ( used to be a weekend thing but now, its too exciting Smile )

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by malickfan on Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:01 pm

And I'm the odd enigmatic guy none of you guys really know much about who drifts in and out of the forum at random hours of the day Suspect Question Sofa :carrot:

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by azriel on Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:16 pm

Thumbs Up

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Forest Shepherd on Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:41 am

{{{Well I appreciate that my views have been noted by this investigation. Perhaps with that kind of attitude they will accomplish something after all, despite the... well I've said enough.

I've suddenly realized that my complaints may have tipped off the authorities, and will be continuing any further comments in secret. Better add in some pithy comment though so they won't expect anything.}}}

Oh yes, Azriel, skipping through the daisies indeed. How frolicsome and un-like an extremist regime!  Very Happy

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by odo banks on Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:09 am

Perhaps a House of Respectables and a House of Unrespectables? That seems simplest. The upright and hygienic to review the work of the peasant class with their dirty minds and dirtier hands from low labour. I suppose no one will listen to me though.... Rolling Eyes

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Eldorion on Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:23 am

Does dipping one's hands (and other appendages) in jelly count really count as a hygienic practice though, Master Banks? study
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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by odo banks on Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:37 am

I have no idea what you are talking about....

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:01 pm

Jelly, you say? Perhaps we will have to look into this jelly matter. scratch study

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:02 pm

Forest Shepherd wrote:{{{Well I appreciate that my views have been noted by this investigation. Perhaps with that kind of attitude they will accomplish something after all, despite the... well I've said enough.

I've suddenly realized that my complaints may have tipped off the authorities, and will be continuing any further comments in secret. Better add in some pithy comment though so they won't expect anything.}}}

Oh yes, Azriel, skipping through the daisies indeed. How frolicsome and un-like an extremist regime!  Very Happy

A nod is as good as a wink to a blind.. daisy? Nod

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Baingil on Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:59 pm

So if absent members were chosen for this "committe"...

What does that mean if I'm not absent?
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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:55 pm

That my decisive vote on the final report just got more perilous. Shocked affraid

If you are around I'll pm you the draft report I've (almost) written before publication, which will hopefully be soon in response to an early draft being leaked to the press:

http://www.hobbitmovieforum.com/t1366-your-new-look-news-of-the-pure-get-it-here#216233

And give you a vote and chance to propose amendments to the final report, ofc. Nod

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Eldorion on Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:10 pm

I suppose two people voting on a report rather than one is a step in the right direction as far as democratic accountability is concerned. Suspect
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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:53 pm

We don't practice a duty to vote in Forumshire. After all, we are not Australians! Shrugging

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Baingil on Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:12 pm

I will be sure to check my messages. Twisted Evil
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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Forest Shepherd on Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:13 am

Private Messages! I suspect Cronyism! Mad

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Manwe Sulimo on Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:41 am

Bluebottle wrote:final report

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Eru on Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:21 am

I seem to have noted down the name "Odo Banks" in my Holy Notepad. Of course Eru never forgets to reward the faithful and punish the disobedient! {{{Er... Manwe, is this my Book of Smiting? I seem to have lost the title page and it looks remarkably like my old Book of the Faithful.}}}

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Manwe Sulimo on Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:24 am

{{{I'm not sure there's much of a difference between punishment and reward for a Hobbit of Odo Banks' proclivities.}}}
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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Eru on Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:40 am

{{{Ah, very well, I think I know a solution anyway.}}}

Odo Banks!  Eru, in his great generosity, has heard that you labor severely in your efforts at teaching His ways, and that you have frequently succumbed to most lamentable temptations in the process despite your most valiant efforts.  He hereby offers you a shining light of hope, a way to True Peace, by offering you the most esteemed position of Head of his very own Holy Complaints Department.

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by odo banks on Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:42 am

Oh excellent. Does that include judging the proclivities of others? Very Happy

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Eru on Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:03 am

Well, my good Odo, it does involve judging, of a sort. Mostly as to whether the complaints sent in are spam or not, and whether the senders of the ones not spam are still alive or not to be responded to. We haven't had anyone checking the department's e-mails in forever, I'm afraid. {{{As a note, anything marked as being from Manwe is definitely spam, do feel free to delete it.}}}

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Bluebottle on Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:44 am

We will have no Holy Inquisition in Forumshire! A certain deity (claimed) better pipe down or the church (and its dealings(including financial)) goes into my report. Mad

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Bluebottle on Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:59 am

Forest Shepherd wrote:Private Messages! I suspect Cronyism! Mad

By request the Commission could consider holdig its vote in public. Smile

But you do perhaps sympatize with the consideration that finding out what you are going to vote for in the days newspapers is not the best way for a Commission to run its affairs. Wink

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Bluebottle on Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:52 pm

The draft report has been distributed to the rest of the Commission (present) and the Adminship, and will be released to the general public in a short amount of time.

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Re: Commission: The state of Forumshire constitutional democracy

Post by Bluebottle on Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:54 pm

After careful deliberation, to open for public scrutiny and to assuage further rumours in the press: here is the 2017 Draft report on the political system of Forumshire. (Subject to Commission decision.)

The final report will look to include public feedback, data from the popular consultaton instigated by the Commission and feedback from the Forumshire political system.

Finally, the report will be subject to a vote of the full (present) Commission, including any proposed amendments by Commission members.

Draft report
Politics in Forumshire: A political future from a political past?

1. Introduction
In the course of this investigation the undersigned Commission has discovered what it believes to be several deficiencies in the political system of Forumshire. The most fundamental finding of the Commission: Forumshire is not a democracy. The Commission shortly notes these failures and outlines a range of recommendations for a future solution for a better more democratic and equitable Forumshire for all.

2. The Forumshire political system: Issues of a system
Forumshire is not what you would in normal parlance call a democracy. A democracy has four basic elements:

1. A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections.
2. The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life.
3.  Protection of the human rights of all citizens.
4. A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.
(What is Democracy? Lecture at Hilla University for Humanistic Studies, January 21, 2004)

In Forumshire (1) the executive office is not chosen through free and fair elections. Forumshire is for all intents and purposes a country. The country is headed by a honorary Royal house, that is directly separated from the countries political institutions. The executive office in Forumshire is the Admin's Office. The Office of Admin picks his or her advisors known as Moderators (mods), these function as his or her council, carry out her executive duties while absent, and uphold what we might call rule of law of the executive council. The system can be classified as a mix between an autocracy, a “system of government in which supreme power (social and political) is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for the implicit threat of a coup d'état or mass insurrection)", and an oligarchy,  a "form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people".

A former mod (name redacted) has outlined the system of government as such. The modus operandi when faced with a tricky situation has been to:

“hold a fair and free democratic vote, have a mod meeting, count the votes, throw that in the bin and wait for (name redacted) to tell us the result before announcing the winner to the plebs, I mean public.”
(Former mod, name redacted)

The one purely elected office in Forumshire is the Mayor's Office. The Mayor is elected in what has the semblance and system of free and fair elections. The powers and competences related to the Office has however been described by a former Admin (name redacted) such:

“an office that had conspicuously few (no) rights or responsibilities attached to it.”

In Forumshire then the people elect the figurehead, while the appointment of the true executive is outside public control. The polar opposite of a constitutional democratic monarchy.

In Forumshire (3) there are severe questions about the protection of the human rights of all citizens. First, (3.1) as the Admins Office is beyond public and judicial control there is no recourse for the public to avail themselves off in the face of decisions made by the Admin's Office.

One distraught member of the public, a Mr Shepherd, offered this description:

“Perhaps some of you will recall the recent Day of Darkness, when Forumshire's greenery was replaced by a deathly shade of very dark gray.”

The description is vivid and bears clear evidence of the psychological impact of the experience on this young Shepherd.

The arbitrary nature of decision making is a violation of the human rights of the public right to political participation.

The nature and role of the Admin's Office raises further issue with (3.2) the human right to self-determination.

Young Mr Shepherd outlines a further issue of the Forumshire political system in his testimony. The (3.3) access to information:

“A regime, as I recall, that is equal-parts benevolent and duplicitious with the oft-alluded-to-but-never-clearly-explained-to-plebs-like-me "Dark Planet".”

The access to information is a human right and a basic building block, and this Commission feels this right might be threatened in Forumshire.

A case that perfectly illustrates this is the one of poor Mr Odo Banks of Rushock Bog. Odo Banks was once a pillar of this Community.

“In an ugly election campaign in 2013 for the position of Mayor, a person (name redacted) supposedly from Mr Banks past came out of the woodwork (presumed daughter), in the aftermath the news-publications hammered Mr Banks, injuring his good and respectable name and reputation and derailing his election campaign, forever ending his dream of (again?) holding the mayoral gavel.”
(Description supplied by a representative of Mr. Banks.)

In the aftermath information has come to the knowledge of this Commission that the whole story was an orchestrated event by none other than the former Admin (name redacted).

The story is told in illustrious fashion in the former Admin's memoirs (name redacted):

“Increased activity in November and December also meant that we were finally able to hold the first Forumshire Mayoral elections, which had been in discussion since that summer.  The election became a project in community-building and activity-encouraging, as well as just being a lot of fun, as numerous candidates were introduced for the newly created position of Mayor of Forumshire, an office that had conspicuously few (no) rights or responsibilities attached to it.  The main candidates were Pretty, Orwell, and Kafria.  Pretty cut a deal with me and undertook a smear campaign to knock Odo out of the race.  This was accomplished by me registering an alternate account called “Diamond Banks”, the first and I think only time someone other than Odo created a Banks account, to post unsavory but plausible rumors about Odo's forum past.  Odo withdrew from the race in a pique of respectability, but Pretty ultimately fell in the final ballot to Kafria, whose first act in office was to threaten to ban the Page 3 Hobbit Lass of the Day."

This constitutes in the opinion of this Commission clear overstep of function and a clear breach of the separation of power with the executive's involvement in normal Forumshire politics. That is, if Forumshire was a constitutional democracy. Which it at the current time is not.

The Commission notes the Admin's Office pertain absolute immunity, when acting within the scope of their duties.

We must however in this light question the validity of the former Admin's actions in relation to the practice of Forumshire political decision-making. The Admin shall normally not make decisions of major impact in the community without conferring with his council, as is long, true and tested practice.

This Commission therefore question if the act was not sanctioned by the Admin's board of advisers. Something this Commission considers highly problematic. If the Admin acted outside the scope of his office, immunity will not apply, and he must be treated legally as any other citizen of Forumshire.

If the opposite was the case the Commission questions if we have not here witnessed a de-facto coup d'etat against Forumshire democracy by the Forumshire executive. The Commission strongly advises the current Admin and her board of advisers to come public with a statement about the voracity of these considerations.

The Commission does not pertain evidence either for or against the theory that the concerned person (name redacted) is Mr. Banks daughter. The Commission does however feel comfortable ascertaining that neither was the press publication in question at the time of publishing. The data was provided by the then Admin (name redacted), and would have had to have seemed of a dubious nature, as it was conspicuously presented during a highly contentious election campaign. The Commission therefore questions the good faith of the aforementioned press publisher. An act such as the described in bad faith should have consequences in a democracy.

(4) The court system of Forumshire does not currently function as a court system based on the rule of law.

The rule of law consist of (1) Accountability, (2) Just laws, (3) Open government, (4) Accessible & Impartial Dispute Resolution.

(1) “The government as well as private actors are accountable under the law.” In Forumshire the executive is not subject or accountable to the law, which eminates from the practice of the executive. (2) “The laws are clear, publicized, stable, and just; are applied evenly; and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property and certain core human rights.” The laws of Forumshire are unwritten and not comprehensive. They are as such not publicly available to the normal population, are subject to change in practice by the executive. Human rights are not sufficiently protected. (3) “The processes by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced are accessible, fair, and efficient.” Laws are passed in Forumshire behind the closed doors of the Admin's Office. To the degree there is public consultation, the result of which is as an aforementioned former moderator said in any case headed for “the bin”. (4) “Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are accessible, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.” The justice system in Forumshire currently consist in putting a question to the Admin or one of his or her advisors and having the matter determined behind the closed doors of the Admin's Tower. The Forumshire courts, a legendary institution, has become just that.

The Office of the Ombudsman has tried to alleviate this situation of late by launching investigations into matters of broad public interest. The Office is however independent and has no sanctioning powers, limiting the ability of the office to give just reward.

The Commission does however with joy note that the active participation of the people, (2) as citizens, in politics and civic life is in pristine praiseworthy robust good health in Forumshire. Rejoice!

3. Regulating the Forumshire press?
A free and fair news coverage in a democracy must be based in the freedom and plurality of the press.

Forumshire currently have three major news conglomerates. The Archet Bugle, and associated publications, controlled according to information made available to this Commission by the aforementioned Mr Odo Banks' business group through a fiscal paradise (Australian) shell company. Pure Publications, which includes the papers Daily Purist and News of the Pure, colloquially known, the Commission has been informed, as papers of the fish and chips variety. The conglomerate is controlled by a single person (name redacted) who's identity the Commission has not been able to securely ascertain. In lieu of reliable data the name must therefore be left blank and purged from the Commission's records at the conclusion of this report. And Admin News, a news source controlled by the Forumshire executive. The Commission is prepared to accept Admin News as an anormal example of a public broadcaster, but notes the distinctly political slant of its coverage.

The news sources of Forumshire are as such on few hands. And their ownership is questionable in tax terms. There is therefore grounds to see a lack of plurality in the Forumshire News sector.

The news source Pure Publications has in the opinion of this Commission been proven to be involved in a smear campaign against a member of the public running for elected office on the behest of the Forumshire executive, the executive AAdmins Office. The independence of Forumshire's foremost independent news source must therefore be questioned.

The Commission will make several recommendations in this regard.

First, an official incentive should be introduced in the form of press subsidies to small start-up local newspapers.

Further, to quote: “A fundamental premise of all media regulation is that news media serves as an oppositional force to power. (…) real content diversity can only be attained by a pluralistically owned and independent editorial media whose production is founded on the principles of journalistic professionalism.”

Therefore, second, an independent Media Authority should be established with the power to interfere in the media in cases when the press freedom and media plurality is threatened, and, third, to ensure this freedom and plurality regulation should be drafted that ensures pluralistic ownership. In particular, an independent body should be set up to oversee the independence and pluralism of Admin News.

Fourth, and finally, a new Commission should be set up to look into the tax situation of the owners of the Forumshire news conglomerates. The shady nature of private press ownership in this country could very easily be a democratic problem.

4. Conclusion
The Commission finds a deficiency in free and fair elections, the protection of the human rights of all citizens and the rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens. in Forumshire Certain issues can also be seen with the role of the Forumshire press.

5. Recommendations
5.1 The political system of Forumshire
(1) The executive powers of the Admin's Office are transferred to the Mayor's Office.
(2) The Admin receives the title of honorary President and oversees Forumshire's public functions. A pension is allocated from the Forum funds. And a sum of (amount to be determined), should not be less than (sum to be determined), is paid for services rendered.
(3) The period of governing of the Mayor is made term limited. An election code is drafted to ensure a streamlined election protocol.
(4) A Forumshire judiciary and justice system is developed, based on the four principles of the rule of law.
(5) The above mentioned changes are consecrated in a written constitution for Forumshire, that should be drafted after a constituent process.
(6) A referendum is held to determine if the now written Constitution of Forumshire comes into force.

5.2 The issue of Pure Publication and the former Admin (name redacted):
(1) Pure publications prints an apology to Mr Odo Banks, esq, on either the second or third page of its next publication.
(2) A fine of (amount to be determined) is paid into the Forumshire funds.
(3) A further Commission is established with true investigative powers to investigate the influence of the Forumshire executive on the 2013 mayoral elections.
(4) In lieu of the investigation finding collusion between the Admin and the board of advisors a fine of (amount to be determined) is paid into the Forumshire funds by former Admin (name redacted), esq, for acting outside the remit of his Office.

5.3 The issue of the Forumshire media:
(1) An official incentive is introduced in the form of press subsidies to small start-up local newspapers. The incentive is named after (name of prominent Forumshire personality/Admin)(name to be added)
(2) An independent Media Authority is established with the power to interfere in the media in cases when the press freedom and media plurality is threatened
(3) Regulation is drafted that aims to ensure pluralistic ownership of the Forumshire media.
(4) An independent body I established to oversee the independence and pluralism of Admin News.
(5) A new Commission is set up to look into the tax situation of the owners of Forumshire's news conglomerates.


Last edited by Bluebottle on Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:01 am; edited 2 times in total

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