Senate Procedural Change Discussion

Forum for the discussion of proposals people would like to make.
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Senate Procedural Change Discussion

Post by Snudge » 2013-11-28

This is a discussion thread for potential bylaw changes for senate. I feel this is necessary after last senate.
Reading over the bylaws its clear we need to rethink part what we have down. Bylaws as written are below. Discuss away
1.The Senate is comprised of representative(s) of each Member group.
2. A quorum is met when two-thirds of the Members eligible to vote send at least one Senator to the Senate meeting.
3.The Senate shall be responsible for the creation and review of all game rules. All rule
proposals shall be voted upon by the Senate and require a simple majority to pass.
Rules passed by both Senate and Board shall go into effect the following June 30th or
December 31st whichever comes first; unless the rule governs safety at which point the
rule will go into effect immediately.
4.The Senate may over-ride a Board veto on rule proposals with a three-fourths majority.
5.The Senate shall review petitioners for Knight of the Realm and provide comments to the Council.
6.The Senate is chaired by the Magistrate, if the Magistrate is unavailable he may appoint another as Chair. The Chair may only vote in instances of a tie.
7. Any Senator may call an emergency meeting of the Senate in cases where the
Magistrate cannot or should not Chair
Last senate there were alot of people who attended but didn't have any business with the senate, which slowed us down considerably, particularly when they chimed in.

My suggested proposal, which I'll make another tread for if it is something that gets enough support is simple.
Original credit for this idea goes to Yardarm and Capt Ig from AQ.

Add the following as 2 and renumber the rest.
2.) Senate attendance is restricted to no more than two representatives from each member group, herein referred to as senators. Any club member with business before senate may also attend. IE proposal presentation, discipline review, etc
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mardux zulammar
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Re: Senate Procedural Change Discussion

Post by mardux zulammar » 2013-11-28

Not for or against this, but before it goes through, you should reword the proposal. You're saying anyone "with business before Senate" can attend, while trying to limit the number of attendees. But things at Senate have the potential to effect every person in the game, which makes nearly almost everything at Senate the business of everyone.
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Re: Senate Procedural Change Discussion

Post by Magistrate » 2013-11-28

Actually last senate we got more accomplished then any other senate I have been a part of. We voted in multiple rule changes proposals some of which were big changes and complicated involving many line item votes... we gave out numerous awards... and we revoted in a replacement VP ... and we did a review of a player suspension. All after land events for the day were run. That is not saying that it could have been better or worse if non senators were in attendance but rather even with non voting members present we were able to function and get the job done that needed to be done in a short span of time considering all we got done.

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Re: Senate Procedural Change Discussion

Post by Snudge » 2013-11-29

Please don't think this is in anyway a critique of how much we got done last senate. I was pleased we got through the agenda. Its just a response to what can become rising issues given the wording. I have concerns, hell a bigger problem just occurred to me.

If senate is composed of representatives from member groups, not countries but member groups. Then the thieves guild, the rangers guild, the res guild, the assassin guilds all deserve voting reps since they are member groups.

Nothing is defined anywhere to limit anything. As an example Nurgle could have brought its entire country to senate, I'd leave the petitioners out though, and we'd all be representatives of a member group.
I hope you can see why I think some limit has got to be imposed somehow, and we may want to clean up the wording of 1 as well.

I'm open to ideas on how to handle it
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Re: Senate Procedural Change Discussion

Post by Magistrate » 2013-11-29

That makes 100% sense and I did not see that.

" Senators
A country should send up to two Senators to each Senate meeting to discuss and vote upon the introduction of new rules, the 
clarification of old rules, and any other business the Magistrate has for the Senate.  
From the rulebook not the bylaws address it.

But in the bylaws the following is stated as to what a "group" is.

" 2. Membership
a Membership is defined as groups organized by Participants in accordance with the
Rules of Play of the Club.
b. Members may send representatives to the Senate.
c. Members may terminate their involvement at any time, ending the existence of the

so added to the bylaws senate text

"1.The Senate is comprised of representative(s) of each Member group.
2. A quorum is met when two-thirds of the Members eligible to vote send at least one Senator to the Senate meeting."


The definition implies that any group stated in the rules of play can send senators.
the following by the rules of play are stated as "Groups"

A country is the Member group of the club and may send two representatives to the Senate. Individual participant characters may 
join with others to form countries. A country is a ‘team’ of at least four participants, with a banner and an Elder tunic (see Banners 
and Elder Tunics), which has registered with the Secretary. There is no maximum limit to the number of members a country may 
have, but they must have a minimum of at least four members.  "

This is the wording that the bylaws refer to about who can go to senate and be senators and thereby how many that go can vote specifically "Countries
A country is the Member group of the club and may send two representatives to the Senate."

Participants in Darkon who are not members of an existing country or retinue are called "nomads." If a nomad was once a member 
of a country that has gone defunct they may continue to wear the livery of the former country and fight alongside those other 
previous members wearing the same livery. If the nomads are separated up during the event every attempt will be made to keep 
the participants in the same livery together. Only existing countries may compete as a group to win in game prizes as a group."

This states nomads do not count as a group even when lumped together.

"Knights Retinue
A knight’s retinue is comprised of those who have sworn fealty to a given knight and have become his loyal retainers. The retainer 
must wear their liege's livery while the wearing of a country livery is up to the knight, retainer and the retainers’ country. If the 
retainer wears a country's livery, which set of livery takes precedence (i.e., which symbol is larger) is up to the knight, the retainer, 
and their country. If the knight and the retainer are in the same country, the knight’s livery can count as the country livery. To form 
a retinue a knight must show the High King that he has a banner and livery for the retainer. 
Special Note: Disguise rules may be used per the Darkon Rules of Play to disguise as a generic retainer of a knight though the 
retinue and the knight may have other means to identify one another unknown to the individual in disguise."

SO under knights retinue there is nothing saying they count as a official group by the rules.

A country should send up to two Senators to each Senate meeting to discuss and vote upon the introduction of new rules, the 
clarification of old rules, and any other business the Magistrate has for the Senate."

This statement under the land rule section also reinforces that countries are the "groups" that send senators.

"At 5th rank, an Assassin may attempt to become an Assassin Guildmaster. To become a Guildmaster, an Assassin must assassinate 
an existing Guildmaster per the normal rules for assassinations in order to inherit his Guild. Alternatively, Guildmasters may freely 
transfer their Guild to another Assassin participant. An Assassin’s Guildmaster is the only character in the game that may issue 
Writs of Assassination. There are only three Assassin’s Guildmasters in Darkon, and the Magistrate must always be informed of the 
identity of each Guildmaster."

This text specifically stays away from calling each guildmaster any type of group of assassins thereby by default it does not say here or with the Thief class itself under thieves "guilds" any term that implies or states guilds are to be counted as a group for sending anyone to senate.  

I just looked over the rulebook and did not find anywhere where it states any of the guilds are "groups" by the game rules but rather these groups are roleplaying elements that are not specifically in the rules as "A country is the Member group of the club and may send two representatives to the Senate."

So there is no text I can find that allows any other group of people to be called member groups for senate representation.

If you wish to have any fighter / mage / thief / nomad / retinue to have by the rules "listed as a member group and can send senators to senate" then that can be brought before the senate and board for addition to the rules of play and will have to get less votes then actually changing the bylaws.

To my knowledge the bylaws used the term "groups" so that if say the warbands got passed or any other group gets "member group" status by the rules the bylaws would not have to be adjusted to reflect the new group having senate representation.

So for now guilds - retinues - other board of representatives - award winners for individual awards as a group - all do not have senate representation. As stated by the bylaws referencing the rules of play. That is why also in the bylaws they never state a maximum amount of senators that a "group" can send this is to reflect if the warband or another group is created that either gets less votes then a country currently or more votes then a country currently can.

Does that make sense?


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Re: Senate Procedural Change Discussion

Post by Kobalos » 2013-12-03

In most private organizations and Not-for-Profit entities (to include every one I've ever been a part of), even the Executive Board meetings are open to membership.

It is the Magistrate's job to set the agenda and maintain flow of the meeting.

Large meetings always have more voices, but preventing Darkon members from coming to their own Senate meetings is a BAAAD idea.

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Sir Aethilgar
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Re: Senate Procedural Change Discussion

Post by Sir Aethilgar » 2013-12-03

Honestly; I'd like to see independent countries, independent guilds, and independent retinues brought to the same level regarding all things but the land meta-game. They are all 'member groups' and should have similar rights and responsibilities to the game.

I qualify with 'independent' such to prevent the inference that belonging to overlapping organizations does not provide multiple sets of Senators. (ie - My country gets two Senators, but my retinue within my country does not.) I'd hate to see this become a way to cheese Senate. Perhaps a better way to phrase it would be that a member group must have 4 dedicated individuals to be considered for Senate representation.

I'd be happy to brainstorm on this issue with folks should any wish to pursue it.
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Re: Senate Procedural Change Discussion

Post by Lord Dubh » 2013-12-03

The bylaws say 'member group' to allow the rules to define a 'member group' and having a referance to 'country' in an administrative document that has to be provided to the IRS when updated is really, just wierd.

At least that was the reason it was written that way.
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