Government:The Magisterium

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The Magisterium
The 46th Magisterium
Coat of arms or logo
2014 Seal of the Magisterium
Type
TypeUnicameral House
History
Founded11 January 2009 (2009-01-11)
Preceded byThe Magisterial Assembly
Leadership
ProvostA Mean Old Man
Deputy ProvostArenaC
Deputy ProvostAtlae
Constitution
Concordat


The Magisterium is the sole legislative branch of the East Pacific, with its powers and general procedures defined in Article B of the Concordat. Magisterium debates and discussions occur on the East Pacific's regional forums, with informal discussion often taking place within the regional discord. The legislative body is led by the Provost whose primary job is to hold votes, maintain the Magisterium's records, and represent the Magisterium.

The Magisterium defines its internal proceedures within the Standing Orders of the Magisterium, which can be amended by a majority of Magisters. As determined by the Concordat, the Standing Orders dictate how the Magisterium inducts/removes Magisters and elects its Provost.

The baseline requirement to become a Magister as set by the Concordat is to be a Citizen. The Magisterium can also set more requirements to become a Magister within its Standing Orders.

Originally, the Magisterium was an elected legislature with a limited number of seats. However, inactivity within the Magisterium in 2012 eventually lead to the passing of the Magisterium Reform Act which ceased Magisterium elections. Following the Act, the Magisterium would cycle through various ways to select applicants, until finally in 2019 the Magisterium allowed any Citizen with a World Assembly nation in the region to join instantly, with non-World Assembly Citizens having to be voted upon by current Magisters.

History

A general history of the Magisterium as recorded. General characteristics and legislation is recorded first, and then any "special events" dealt with the Magisterium in those years.

2009-2012: Formative Years

The first three years of the Magisterium saw the passing of large amounts of foundational legislation, including legislation on endorsement caps, treason, time standardization, citizenship, and the creation of an army. The Magisterium also created its Standing Orders during this time.

While a lot of legislation was drafted in early 2009, in general the Magisterium did not see much activity with most discussions surrounding Provost elections, or confirmation of Delegate nominations.

Around this time is also when the Magisterium began to solidify the procedures that it would use today, via deciding how Provosts are to be elected and how voting on Magisterium proposals would take place.

First Constitutional Convention (Jan. 2012- Jul. 2012)

In Janurary of 2012, Todd McCloud suggested that the Magisterium host a Constitutional Convention in order to implement many new ideas surrounding government. Most Magisters agreed with the idea, and so it began in the same month.

The topics discussed during the Convention include Arbiter terms (which used to be indefinite), changes to the Citizenship processes, enacting martial law provisions, setting up a Vice-Delegacy, and term limits for Magisters.

No record currently exists of the results of the Convention, but it can be assumed that results included the shortening of Arbiter terms as well as changes in Citizenship procedure to include forum administration preforming IP checks.

Late 2012-2014

This era of the Magisterium saw a revival of the activity that occurred in early 2009. Multiple legislative heavyweights, such as Jurisdictions, Bachtendekuppen, A Slanted Black Stripe, God-Emperor and Aelitia would begin to take part of the Magisterium during these years, pushing various amounts of legislative reform.

Most of the laws passed within this era have served as the basis of the East Pacific's body of law as of 2020. Some legislation passed dealt with advertisement on the Regional Message Board, revision of the Standing Orders, reformation of the army, new endorsement cap law, and limiting of the number of Arbiters from 7 to 4.

The Sovereign Confederation (2013)

In 2013, the East Pacific received an invitation to join the Sovereign Confederation (SovCon). The Sovereign Confederation was an alliance that formed a superior democratic government that ruled over member regions, with original signatories being Equilism, Osiris, the Pacific, and Gatesville.

At first, the main concerns by the Magisterium were the strong powers of the Executive part of SovCon, as well as how participating in SovCon would give SovCon control over East Pacifican forces. However, later discussions began to raise a stronger issue: that of the East Pacific loosing parts of its sovereignity.

While lots of regional discussion was held on the matter of joining SovCon, the Magisterium eventually decided against joining the Confederation.

The Defender Act (2014)

In 2014, Magister Unibot presented to the Magisterium the Defender Act, which labelled the East Pacific and its army as "Defender", without restricting the army's functions. While many Magisters supported this bill (and it would go on to pass), other Magisters and Citizens were against the Bill.

Reasons for Magisters and Citizens opposing the Bill were many but included the avoiding of alienation of raiders/non-defenders, as well as no supposed need for the East Pacific to become "Defender". Ultimately, intensive discussion on multiple regional services would be held on the subject, with the East Pacific slowly rejecting its new founded "Defender" identity.

Eventually, Magister Unibot would propose a compromise Bill, the Identity Act, which limited what tags could be stated in the in-game region. This Bill would eventually pass the Magisterium and become law.

The Defender Act, and its surrounding context and discussion, proved as one of the first times political tension ever arose in the Magisterium.

Second Constitutional Convention (2013-2014)

Sometime after Old Federalia became Provost in 2013, he began a Constitutional Convention in order to fix-up the Concordat.

While many ideas were discussed, ultimately no legislation was passed as a direct result of the Convention.

Late 2014-Early 2017

This three year period saw a large decrease of Magisterium activity. Checking Magisterium threads would reveal a disapportionally large amount of nomination threads, with not much legislation being debated compared to 2013-2014 or in 2009.

However, the Magisterium would pass some amount of legislation, including amendments to endorsement cap law, signing of new treaties, clarification on Acting Delegate procedures in the Concordat, and new citizenship law.

Delegate Prussia Resigning (2015)

On December 20th, 2015 Delegate Prussia resigned from his post in an unexpected manner.

The Magisterium quickly convened to select an Acting Delegate to take over Prussia's vacated office. Tensions ran slightly high as processess on how to lead the discussion and vote were not clear-cut.

Eventually, Vizier Todd McCloud would be chosen to serve as Acting Delegate for the rest of Delegate Prussia's term.

Early 2017-Late 2018

The Magisterium, during this time period, would begin to be led by Provost Verdrassil.

Legislative activity was still low in the Magisterium during this time period, with most legislative discussion surrounding amendment to endorsement cap law, amendments to the Standing Orders, or ratification of a few treaties.

It is well known (though not completely substantiated), that Provost Verdrassil potentially controlled and influenced many Magister opinions and votes during her service as Provost. Most prolifically, she supported and proposed making the requirements for a Citizen to become a Magister much tougher than they were previously. She also began the practice of the Magisterium holding informal discussions on Discord.

Provost Verdrassil was eventually banned from the East Pacific for Out-Of-Character matters, leading to the next time period of the Magisterium to occur.

Resignation of Delegate Mexregiona (2017)

Sometime in August 2017, Delegate Mex resigned from the Delegacy for personal reasons unabling him to handle the office. Vizier Aelitia would be elected to serve as Acting Delegate, until special elections in September concluded. Delegate Yuno would replace Acting Delegate Aelitia concluding special Delegate elections.

Late 2018-Late 2019: Fedele Infiltration

After the banning of Verdrassil, the Magisterium would again cycle with new Provosts starting with Provost Asendavia.

While legislative activity was not as close as it was in earlier times, activity did begin to pick up again within the Magisterium. Some of the legislation debated included amendment to endorsement cap law, reformation of the Standing Orders, many Concordat amendments, and various discussions on the functions of the Viziers and the Conclave.

One notable exception to this period of years (compared to the Magisterium's past) is the activity of the current Delegate (Delegate Fedele) in legislative discussion.

Events Prior to Coup (October 2019)

In October 2019, as a lead-up to the coup, Delegate Fedele removed the Viziers from their positions as Regional Officers, violating the Endorsement Caps Act. This action, along with the infamous 'marsupial purges' and posting of citizenship applications on the Regional Message Board, were claimed by Delegate Fedele to serve as "legal points" showing that the East Pacific needed to fix its law.

In response to this, Fedele along with his co-conspirators, Funkadelia and Aleister, began discussion about fixing the Concordat. This soon lead to a Magisterium bycott, where the Magisterium refused to discuss legislation until the Viziers were reinstated.

Eventually, Provost Davelands would be resign his position following a couple of Magisters motioning for his removal.

Funkadelia, one of the coupers, would then post his "45-theses", which were meant to highlight legal issues with the region.

Soon after all of this, the coup of October 2016 occurred.

Late 2019-Now

Following the coup, the Magisterium began heavy reorganization and reform of legislation. Provost Bachtendekuppen would also reform the Magisterium's forums.

The Magisterium would begin to pass multiple pieces of legislation, including a Concordat rewrite (and multiple subsequent Concordat amendments), ratification of new treaties, cleaning out of unused law/resolutions, legislation on regional officers, overhauling the Standing Orders, election legislation, and revising of many other standing laws.

Reform is now on-going.

Concordat Rewrite (2019)

On October 16th, 2019 Vizier Aelitia would propose a large Concordat rewrite, which would enact many changes (summarized here).

While most Citizens consider this 'New Concordat' as a strong improvement over the old one, many Citizens still see unclarities and vagueness both as a result of the rewrite as well as left-overs from the pre-rewrite Concordat. Minor discussion has already begun on another Concordat rewrite of some sort, though no action has been taken as of yet.

Roles and Powers in Government

The Magisterium is granted various powers via the Concordat, the Standing Orders of the Magisterium, and regional law. All such powers are collected here.

The Magisterium is empowered to:

Concordat

  • Make law which all government institutions and citizens must follow, as long as said laws do not conflict against the Concordat. The Magisterium may also repeal any law it has enacted.
  • Override a Delegate veto of a law via a 3/4 majority vote.
  • Confirm Delegate nominations for an Arbiter via a majority (1/2) vote, or for a Vizier via a 2/3 majority vote.
  • Suspend and prosecute in trial a Delegate, Arbiter, or Vizier for suspision of committing an indictable crime. Prosecution shall be lead by the Provost.
  • Select a Vizier to serve as Acting Delegate whenever the serving Delegate resigns or is removed from office.
  • Ratify any treaty or declaration of war as submitted by the Delegate.
  • Lift a suspension and indictment for High Treason, as led by the Viziers, via a 4/5 majority vote.
  • Maintain Standing Orders dictating how the Provost is selected and how a Citizen may become a Magister.

Standing Orders of the Magisterium

  • Pass resolutions via majority vote, which are non-binding pieces of legislation which dictate the Magisterium's opinion.

The Regional Officers Act

  • Object to any Non-Vizier Regional Officer appointment made by the Delegate. When three or more Magisters object, the appointment shall go to a confirmation vote.

Endorsement Caps Act

  • Confirm any Qualified Endorsement Cap as proposed by the Viziers.
  • Remove any Vizier from serving as Regional Officer for failing to act on an Endorsement Cap Violator.
  • Repeal any Qualified Endorsement Cap, via a 2/3 majority vote without Vizier consent or a majority vote with Vizier consent.

The Curia Act

  • Confirm Delegate nomination for an Overseeing Officer via a majority vote.

The OGO Act

  • Award any Citizen of the East Pacific the Order of the Golden Ocelot via 3/4 majority vote.

Chief Officer of Justice Act

  • Confirm Delegate nomination of a Chief Officer of Justice via a majority vote.

General Procedure

The Magisterium has special procedures for many different events or "things" as described in East Pacifican legislation. However, the following procedures are observed for general legislation:

Proposal of Legislation

Any Citizen may propose to the Magisterium an enactment, amendment, or repeal of any standing law (ignoring endorsement caps), amendment to the Concordat, enactment of a resolution, or a legislative debate/discussion on any relevant topic. If a motion to change/enact legislation or a resolution, the Citizen proposing the item shall become its "Sponsor", and may appoint "co-Sponsors" to assist in authoring/amending the proposed item.

Proposals are presented publicly in the Magisterium sub-forum, though the Provost may move proposals to Closed Chambers via methods allowed in the Standing Orders.

Any Citizen may discuss a public proposal, but only Magisters and the Delegate, along with "invited" Citizens, may discuss proposals in Closed Chambers. Most "proposals" are debated in public.

Motion to Vote

The Sponsor or any co-Sponsor may motion to vote the proposal at any time. A Magister must second the motion for the proposal to go to vote.

While not legislated, it is considered an expected courtesy to avoid motioning a proposal to vote for at least 48 hours after submission to the Magisterium. This is done to give Magisters time to discuss their viewpoints and share their thoughts with the proposal.

The Vote

After a successful motion, the Provost or a Deputy Provost shall open a voting thread in the Magisterium Voting Hall.

Voting lasts for a period of one week. After one week, the Provost or a Deputy Provost shall close the vote and count results. If the proposal has met the necessary majority (1/2 if no special majority is necessary) and quorum (1/2 of Magisters present in voting), it shall be considered as passed.

At this point, a resolution, treaty ratification, or war declaration shall enacted. A Concordat Amendment shall be given to the Viceroy for a Citizen Referendum.

Delegate Signature

If the legislative item ("bill") was an enactment, amendment, or repeal of standing legislation, the Provost shall notify the Delegate of said item being passed.

While not legislated, the item is usually presented in an executive thread. The Delegate may elect to sign, veto, or ignore the bill. Should the Delegate sign the Bill, it shall go into immediate effect. If the Delegate ignores the Bill, it shall come into effect 10 days after passage.

Delegate Veto

If the Delegate vetoes the Bill, the Magisterium is faced with two options:

  • Hold another discussion and potentially vote, with a 3/4 majority, to override the veto and pass the Bill into law.
  • Do nothing with the Bill and move on.
Delegate vetoes are a rare action. As of July 2020, only three Bills in the history of the Concordat have been vetoed by the Delegate.