President Icarus sends the People's Assembly Omnibus Act to a referendum

Written by PhDre

34 Goldenblock Avenue - President Icarus has chosen not to sign the People's Assembly Omnibus Act, stating that "I cannot, in good conscience, come to a fair decision on this topic on my own without neglecting either side."

According to Constitution IV, the President may "reserve [a bill passed by the Senate and presented to the President] for the signification of the People's Assent in the form of referendum." From the Europeian Broadcasting Corporation's (EBC) reading of the Referenda Act, the referendum will be held at earliest on Saturday, as there is a required 72 hour (3 day) debate period.

President Icarus's term ends on January 20th, and both Presidential candidates have suggested they would have also sent the bill to a referendum if given the opportunity.

Presidential Candidate Lloenflys said "I would rather see people use ... pre-existing options to do things like practice drafting legislation and would rather see people spending time doing ministry work rather than engaging in the PA... I think this is a big enough issue that giving the option to the people to decide whether to reconstitute this body makes sense." Presidential Candidate Olde Delaware stated that "the President and I stand in total agreement. The people are going to be asked to invest in this, they should be the ones to decide."

Vice Presidential candidate Kuramia said "we oftentimes have a vocal minority that speaks up concerning larger changes or additions like the PA, it's good to actually get an evaluation ... so we can have discussion from not only those who have said yes, but those who think no." Vice Presidential candidate Sopo predicted that " I think the body has widespread support, so I expect it to pass."

When reached for comment, Senate Speaker GraVandius said that "This is one of the lowest stakes bills to ever be sent to referendum. We are talking about practically a word for word return of a popular institution the existed for over 7 years... the current Senate was elected with a clear mandate to pass it. I fully expect the bill to succeed at referendum. Overall it is just a better way to get people legislative experience and into the Senate than any of our training programs we have had in the interim."

In the January 2023 Election Poll run by the EBC (27 respondents), the majority (56%) suggested they would vote in favor of a Referendum creating the People's Assembly, with 15% stating they would not vote in favor. A significant minority of respondents appear undecided.

I did make a decision, one I did not reach easily, it is not me dodging my responsibilities, it is me recognising that I am not absolute in my ability to know the answer to everything. Sure, I could’ve made the easy choice and pass/veto it because "that’s what presidents do" but that would be downright stupid and unfair to anyone who cares about this proposal one way or the other.
This response has been rattling around in my head since I saw it. I have nothing against a President sending a bill to a referendum, inherently. I've even done it myself in the past. However, I think the logic here is giving me some pause. None of us expect the President to know everything, of course. They are one person, and they have limits. However, it's not like this decision is made in a vacuum. There is the Attorney General to advise on the legality (which was discussed a good amount in the Oval Office thread without acknowledgment from the President) as well as the court of public opinion on the bill which has been admittedly light on polling, but showed strong support in its limited showings. The discussion has also not really generated major pushback in the Grand Hall (discord or forum version), really only supplementary discussion on how to tweak the bill.

To compare to the time I sent a bill to referendum, it was on the issue of whether votes in a runoff should be public. An issue that is still debated to this day, nearly two years later! Also, one that I was heavily biased against, having campaigned against it publicly for years, so much so that I felt my unilateral decision on the matter, while technically allowed, would not have generated a lot of support and may have harmed the integrity of the matter. So, it was sent to a referendum on that logic, where the Nays squeaked out a win by 6 votes, and the issue still rages anyway today. I and I think many others, would view that as a textbook case of when a referendum could be used. A highly contentious issue, with split public support.

The People's Assembly has not been contentious, and the public support is not split. So, in these cases, it's odd the President not only didn't make a decision, but states that she "couldn't make a decision in good conscience", because to make one under these conditions would be "downright stupid and unfair". That's why this decision has seemed strange, and why, I think, so many people have come out against this decision being made the way it was.
I'm sorry, where are people looking if they don't think this hasn't been contentious? I have seen numerous people voice either opposition or at least expressed concern to the very reason we even need to bring this back. So, are the supporters of this now ignoring that people are out there that do oppose this idea, or just simply so unaware of the opposition that does exist? I wouldn't be surprised if the debate that comes about influences opinion but having 9 outright against is not insignificant.
“So, are the supporters of this now ignoring that people are out there that do oppose this idea, or just simply so unaware of the opposition that does exist?”

Nobody said there wasn’t opposition. I explicitly acknowledged it.

Come on man. Pretty disingenuous take. “Which one of these bad options is it?”

Are you suggesting that every bill that doesn’t have unanimous support go to referendum?

I do find it weird that this is the issue that got the op-ed though. Where was the op-ed when the remerge was put to a referendum which was passed by a very pro-remerge senate on a mandate to do so. It seems that bill was passed to the people to debate the merits of a system to change the way the region is ran. (Unless ofc there was a law provision mandating it which I could be totally forgetting about! If so, please correct me as I am tuned out of that stuff lol) Is this not the same here? The PA seems to give a lot of influence and role to the people in a much broader sense - seems pretty big of a change to the way we currently run.
There is no equivalency between merging the executive branch from two parts into one and creating a playground for people to practice legislation.
Nothing is fundamentally altered because the PA has no power or authority.

Indeed, that's its current major deficiency.
Is the CA fundamentally altering the way that the legislative branch works? I don't think any powers are being given to the PA, and the Senate retains all legislative power under this legislation.. So I would strongly disagree the proposed legislation in any way comparable "alteration-wise" to a split or remerge of the executive.

Indeed, that's its current major deficiency.
Or its most attractive feature!
The way laws are presented seems like it has changed from referendum to now a sub-legislative body (or for those that perfer the legal term, 'parallel legislative body' which changes our sole legislature for the past couple of years.) being able to pass it to the Senate, seems like an alteration from our system as of current. The ability to pass resolutions which has traditionally been a function of the Senate has been altered to now also be a power to the PA.

I have never supported the People's Assembly and don't intend to support its passage in any way. So I am approaching this extremely biased for reference of course.

Besides that, thank you at least for publishing an op-ed and getting our media energised over this DH! Hope to see more in the future!
The People's Assembly has not been contentious, and the public support is not split.

I do think however that, while the name People's Assembly is new, or so I think anyways, the issue at hand has been with us for many years. Certainly since I've been in Euro. Whether as Citizen's Assembly, City of Arnhelm or now as People's Assembly, there have always been some who wished for such a body, sometimes they were successful, and repeatedly that body was abolished again (for better or worse), usually when the most vocal of proponents didn't have the time or energy anymore to keep it running. So to that end, I would say it is contentious, if not under the name "People's Assembly", then certainly as the idea of a sub-legislative body or legislative training ground.