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Offline Tau

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FES Constitution, Second Draft
« on: August 05, 2014, 09:54:42 PM »
There's a new draft of the constitution in the Council forum. Here is a link.

I'll keep making new drafts and putting them up for review until there's a general consensus that the constitution is finished and good. Then I'll put it up for a vote among the Council to ratify it.


Changes in the new draft:

Language giving the Council power to remove administrators has been removed. Administrators can now only be removed from power by their own request.
Official members can now vote to impeach the entire council at once.
Official members can now vote to amend the constitution

These are the changes suggested in the previous thread.  I know a lot of people expressed concerns about the Council's power with regard to elections and the potential for abuse there, which I didn't really address in this new draft. I'm hoping that the changes I made to impeachment are enough to satisfy those concerns, but I'm willing to discuss them further if this is not the case.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 10:02:39 PM by Tausami »
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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 10:06:55 PM »
What if an administrator goes rogue?

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Offline Tau

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2014, 10:16:57 PM »
What if an administrator goes rogue?

I dunno. I'm not sure who to give the power to dethrone them to. The obvious answer is to give it to the official members, but I wanted to see what you guys thought.
That's how far the horizon is, not how far you can see.

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Offline Lord Dave

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2014, 11:01:48 PM »
What if an administrator goes rogue?

I dunno. I'm not sure who to give the power to dethrone them to. The obvious answer is to give it to the official members, but I wanted to see what you guys thought.
The owner of the server the forum is on.

If the owner goes rogue, then we move forums.  Simple.

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Offline Tau

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2014, 12:29:07 AM »
What if an administrator goes rogue?

I dunno. I'm not sure who to give the power to dethrone them to. The obvious answer is to give it to the official members, but I wanted to see what you guys thought.
The owner of the server the forum is on.

If the owner goes rogue, then we move forums.  Simple.

I feel like the owner is automatically gonna be an administrator, though. Should we just give the power to other admins then?
That's how far the horizon is, not how far you can see.

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2014, 12:42:32 AM »
I formally request the power to ban mods and admins at my leisure.

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Offline Tau

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2014, 01:15:11 AM »
I formally request the power to ban mods and admins at my leisure.

Sounds good to me. All powers shall be vested in Vauxhall to administrate and moderate administrators and moderators of all Flat Earth Society affiliated sites.
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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2014, 04:05:25 AM »
I feel like the owner is automatically gonna be an administrator, though.
If the owner goes rogue, they can circumvent any and all attempts at enforcing any and all rules so long as they control the server. I think it's too extreme of a situation to account for in the constitution, but essentially the only solution would be to set up a new forum.
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Offline Parsifal

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2014, 05:09:15 AM »
I feel like the owner is automatically gonna be an administrator, though. Should we just give the power to other admins then?

It has never been the mandate of the Zetetic Council to oversee or manage the operations of the forum at all. The original purpose for its existence was to run the Society independently of the forum. I don't see that it has the authority to give that power to anyone.
when you try to mock anyone while also running the flat earth society. Lol

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Offline markjo

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2014, 01:08:13 PM »
Just out of curiosity, how will this constitution affect reunification efforts?  Should there be a discussion on the other site as well?
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Offline Tau

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2014, 11:46:14 PM »
Just out of curiosity, how will this constitution affect reunification efforts?  Should there be a discussion on the other site as well?

I'm considering holding off on any ratification until after reunification for this reason. I'm willing to open up a conversation thread on the other site if people want me to.

I feel like the owner is automatically gonna be an administrator, though. Should we just give the power to other admins then?

It has never been the mandate of the Zetetic Council to oversee or manage the operations of the forum at all. The original purpose for its existence was to run the Society independently of the forum. I don't see that it has the authority to give that power to anyone.

The Zetetic Council has no ability to oversee or manage the operations of the forum. I unthinkingly gave it a few inappropriate powers in the first draft, but they have been removed in this one.

When I say 'we', I mean the society. Not the council. I'm the one writing the constitution and I currently have ratification being done by the council, but I can change that if people want me to. Ratification can be a popular vote type thing. I've made every attempt to make the constitution a document of the people and not of the council and I want to make it clear that this is my goal. The Zetetic Council will never have anything to do with running the forum. However, when it was first created it was tasked with creating a constitution and I have every intention of completing that task.
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Offline Lord Dave

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2014, 11:49:03 PM »
The Zetetic Council has no ability to oversee or manage the operations of the forum. I unthinkingly gave it a few inappropriate powers in the first draft, but they have been removed in this one.

When I say 'we', I mean the society. Not the council. I'm the one writing the constitution and I currently have ratification being done by the council, but I can change that if people want me to. Ratification can be a popular vote type thing. I've made every attempt to make the constitution a document of the people and not of the council and I want to make it clear that this is my goal. The Zetetic Council will never have anything to do with running the forum. However, when it was first created it was tasked with creating a constitution and I have every intention of completing that task.

I think it's the whole "administrator" bit.  What need does the council have for an admin vs a moderator?

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Offline Tau

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2014, 11:54:54 PM »
I feel like the owner is automatically gonna be an administrator, though.
If the owner goes rogue, they can circumvent any and all attempts at enforcing any and all rules so long as they control the server. I think it's too extreme of a situation to account for in the constitution, but essentially the only solution would be to set up a new forum.

Adding a clause about that in the constitution could give legitimacy to breakaway sites, though. It could avoid situations like the one we were in with Daniel and the Wikipedia page where the previous site owner declares the new site irrelevant and not the real society. The new site could point to the constitution, ratified by the Flat Earth Society, to demonstrate their legitimacy.

The clause I'm thinking about would be something about a situation where the site owner fails to uphold certain responsibilities (keeping the site running smoothly, not being bat-shit insane), and the society taking away ownership of its site because of this.
That's how far the horizon is, not how far you can see.

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Offline Tau

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2014, 12:01:21 AM »
The Zetetic Council has no ability to oversee or manage the operations of the forum. I unthinkingly gave it a few inappropriate powers in the first draft, but they have been removed in this one.

When I say 'we', I mean the society. Not the council. I'm the one writing the constitution and I currently have ratification being done by the council, but I can change that if people want me to. Ratification can be a popular vote type thing. I've made every attempt to make the constitution a document of the people and not of the council and I want to make it clear that this is my goal. The Zetetic Council will never have anything to do with running the forum. However, when it was first created it was tasked with creating a constitution and I have every intention of completing that task.

I think it's the whole "administrator" bit.  What need does the council have for an admin vs a moderator?

But what does the council have to do with it?
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Offline Parsifal

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2014, 12:21:59 AM »
But what does the council have to do with it?

You're writing a Constitution for the Council, aren't you?
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Offline Lord Dave

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2014, 12:54:22 AM »
The Zetetic Council has no ability to oversee or manage the operations of the forum. I unthinkingly gave it a few inappropriate powers in the first draft, but they have been removed in this one.

When I say 'we', I mean the society. Not the council. I'm the one writing the constitution and I currently have ratification being done by the council, but I can change that if people want me to. Ratification can be a popular vote type thing. I've made every attempt to make the constitution a document of the people and not of the council and I want to make it clear that this is my goal. The Zetetic Council will never have anything to do with running the forum. However, when it was first created it was tasked with creating a constitution and I have every intention of completing that task.

I think it's the whole "administrator" bit.  What need does the council have for an admin vs a moderator?

But what does the council have to do with it?
Sorry, I meant to say "What does the council need their own admin for?  What do they need that a moderator can't do?"

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Offline Tau

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2014, 02:46:13 AM »
But what does the council have to do with it?

You're writing a Constitution for the Council, aren't you?

We are writing a constitution for the society. The council is a part of it, but not the only part of it. There are some advantages to this over having a super special constitution that only applies to the council.

First of all, legitimacy. As I said to PP, having a concrete constitution detailing the basics of running the society allows us to make a more accurate delineation as to what the society is, as well as what counts as part of the society. Daniel suggested in the Wiki page that we are not the official Flat Earth Society. A constitution that goes beyond the site but does not ignore it allows the society to make situations such as our breakaway more official. Daniel wouldn't have been able to deny our existence if there had been a widely accepted constitution which allowed such a thing to happen. The main purpose behind having a constitution is to avoid situations such as what happened to the old site. If a site fails to abide by its constitution, the members will have a much easier time demanding change. If there's a process in place to free the site of tyrants or useless leaders we won't have to worry about a John Davis type situation.

In addition to all of that, it's frankly way simpler. Having a constitution that doesn't acknowledge the existence of admins or moderators makes it weird in some situations. Here's an example off the top of my head: if an official member gets banned, obviously they aren't going to be able to vote in an election. However, if we don't give a membergroup the specific ability to ban people, then this is actively unconstitutional. In order to fix this we'd need to put a system in place to allow official members to temporarily lose the right to participate in council matters, but that's just banning under a different name. We'd have to give the power to someone, and giving it to the council is a) needlessly overcomplicated and b) just begging for abuse. What if the council disagrees with the moderator's decision to ban the member? Thus, we need to create a moderator group. But who creates the moderator group? Again it shouldn't be the council, so now we have to create an administrator group. Ignoring problems like that invalidates the entire constitution.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 02:51:19 AM by Tausami »
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Offline markjo

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2014, 03:32:49 AM »
But what does the council have to do with it?

You're writing a Constitution for the Council, aren't you?

We are writing a constitution for the society. The council is a part of it, but not the only part of it. There are some advantages to this over having a super special constitution that only applies to the council.
I could be wrong, but I think that when he said "for the council" he meant "on behalf of the council".
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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2014, 05:05:46 AM »
The site and the society are separate bodies. That's the entire point of having separate and non-overlapping power structures. That's what the Council was elected to do. If you want to give yourself powers that you were explicitly set out to never have, that will not be recognised by the administration of this site.

Please re-read the original proposal and discussion, especially Parsifal's definition of the constitution which was widely accepted (and differs from yours). It has always been crystal clear that you'd have no power over our remit, and we'd have no power over yours. Your remit is currently not strictly defined, and that is the #1 task of the constitution. Anything else can follow later.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 05:55:28 AM by pizaaplanet »
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Offline Tau

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Re: FES Constitution, Second Draft
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2014, 11:20:00 AM »
The site and the society are separate bodies. That's the entire point of having separate and non-overlapping power structures. That's what the Council was elected to do. If you want to give yourself powers that you were explicitly set out to never have, that will not be recognised by the administration of this site.

Please re-read the original proposal and discussion, especially Parsifal's definition of the constitution which was widely accepted (and differs from yours). It has always been crystal clear that you'd have no power over our remit, and we'd have no power over yours. Your remit is currently not strictly defined, and that is the #1 task of the constitution. Anything else can follow later.

But we've given the council no such powers. The admins have absolutely no power over the council and the council has absolutely no power over the admins. I added in some inappropriate powers in the first draft, but they're gone now.

I understand that you're uncomfortable with the constitution mentioning you at all. But do please at least respond to my reasoning.
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