People's Assembly Legislation nears Final Vote
Senators shoot down moving additional powers to the new body
Written by PhDre, Edited by Maowi
For the last term and a half, the Senate has debated the People's Assembly Act, legislation designed to create a pre-legislative body that all Europeian citizens would be able to participate in. In recent days, it appears that the "clean" People's Assembly Act has the votes to pass the Senate.
The new People's Assembly would allow for the creation of pre-legislation, which if passed would then be presented to the Senate for consideration. Some supporters of PA imagine it as a low stakes way for newcomers to participate in the legislative process, while others desire a more structured way for non-Senators to propose legislation for consideration than the Citizen Legislation power enumerated in the Constitution.
Detractors point to Europeia's ongoing activity challenges and wonder whether an additional legislative body will thrive with current activity levels. Rand, who narrowly lost a four way Senate runoff election, pointed to previous failed Citizens' legislative bodies, and asked the Senate to “lead a regional discussion on what we actually want out of this body, and evaluate expected levels of participation. I feel the current Senate is spending too much time nitpicking in the closed Senate form, and not enough time evaluating public opinion and leading an open discussion. If the Senate can't involve voters themselves, perhaps we do need a new PA after all.”
Throughout the PA legislative drafting process, citizens have advocated for moving powers and responsibilities to the People’s Assembly. One such proposal, floated by Deepest House in recent weeks, is to “[let] the PA handle ministerial confirmations and oversight.” However, this proposal met stiff resistance from Senators - Lloenflys voiced concern over “scope creep on what the PA was going to be,” and said he did not “support removing any powers from the Senate just to try to make the PA interesting.”
When reached for comment, Speaker GraVandius said that “It is my perception that there isn’t a particularly large appetite for moving confirmations outside of the Senate… [but] whether it develops as something the public is interested in later on is a different matter.”
In recent days, the Senate appears to have rejected large-scale changes to oversight and confirmation processes, and have agreed not to let the PA Chair speak at will on the Senate floor. GraVandius signaled that the first PA Chair election would be set for approximately March 13th, 2023.
It is unclear whether President Icarus will sign the legislation or send it to a referendum should it pass the Senate by the end of the current Presidential term. Olde Delaware, who announced his Presidential campaign just hours ago, said “If I get elected, I’ll send it to a referendum.” Olde Delaware is currently running unopposed, with election day over a week away.