CZ:Election July-August 2013/Referenda/1

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Only the proposer of the referendum and Election Committee members may modify this page. Substantive modifications after the referendum has been formally proposed will invalidate it. Comments should be placed on the Talk page.

This page contains a proposed referendum question, the existing Charter article(s) or rule(s) which the proposer and any supporters of the referendum wish to change, and the proposed new text. A further section elaborates on the proposal.

Merger of the Management and Editorial Councils, July-August 2013

Proposed by the Management Council here (part 3)

A proposed referendum to rewrite the Citizendium Charter follows. If it is voted on, Citizens can support or oppose the question by indicating 'Yes' or 'No'. Under Article 37, a two-thirds majority is required to modify the Charter.

Proposed referendum

The Management Council and the Editorial Council shall be merged into a single governing body, with all existing passed rules and decisions upheld except where they contradict this act or referenda passed in this election; existing and incoming members of these Councils shall take seats on a single 'Citizendium Council' responsible for all administrative, legal, technical and content decisions, and the Council shall conduct itself within a transitional phase until June 30th, 2014, during which the Managing Editor shall be a voting member.

Elaboration

Problems

Since the establishment of the Charter some years ago, Citizendium's governance structure has consisted of what is, for the time being, an unnecessarily elaborate arrangement in which two separate Councils are responsible for what are, in theory, non-overlapping responsibilities - legal/technical/administrative matters for the Management Council, and content matters for the Editorial Council. In practice, because this is currently a small project and issues raised often encompass matters within the purview of both Councils, progress has often stalled. For example, members of both Councils argued that they were not responsible for a banner on a political issue. On another occasion, a discussion a recruitment initiative came to nothing because it was unclear which Council would be responsible for it. On other occasions, decisions have been implemented slowly or not at all because, while the directive itself was issued by one Council, the people who could implement the decision were independent of it or subordinate to the other Council. These problems would be significantly reduced or eliminated if a single Council were responsible for all content, legal, administrative and technical matters.

Another problem is that, for a project of this current size, there are simply too many elected positions. These have been reduced from 14 to 10, but a further reduction is necessary to reflect the size of the membership and how many volunteers are prepared to contribute significant time and effort in service.

Proposed solution

  • A new 'Citizendium Council' would be created and the Management and Editorial Councils abolished.
  • The Citizendium Council would uphold all existing decisions, rules and recommendations by previous legitimate governing bodies, except where they contradict referenda passed during this election.
  • The new Council would first be convened in a 'transitional phase' in which membership would be drawn from the abolished Councils. Anyone elected to those Councils during this Special Election would also be included. Terms of office would be extended or shortened as necessary to expire on June 30th, 2014.
  • During the transition, the Managing Editor would be a voting member of the Council and its Chair, with temporary powers to declare elected and non-elected offices vacant if their holders are inactive for more than 30 days, and appoint interim members if fewer than five seats are filled.
  • Constables would not be Council members, but other office-holders would be allowed to take seats during the interim period.
  • The transitional phase would last until June 30th, 2014, with June set as a single time for all regularly-scheduled elections (no more regular elections for different Councils every six months, with the December one occurring over a major holiday period).
  • During the transitional phase, the Council would decide how many seats it would comprise from July 1st, 2014, but this must be at least 3.
  • The Council would arrange an election for all its seats, with terms of offices commencing on July 1st, 2014, and with half the seats elected for one-year shortened terms. If elected officers do not appoint an Election Committee no later than 21 days before the terms of office begin, the Citizendium community may appoint one by general agreement.
  • From July 1st, 2014, half of the Council would be elected each year, and from then, half of the Council would consist of Editors as already specified elsewhere in the Charter.

Text

This referendum, if passed, would require an extensive rewrite of the Charter. A quick guide can be found by comparing proposed revisions with the original text. See also the full proposed Charter. The following changes would be applied to the current Charter (i.e. this version):

Changes to existing wording

  • In Article 5 of the current Charter, after the words or who violate rules established by, insert the words the Citizendium Council and delete the original words either the Management or Editorial Councils.
  • In Article 17 of the current Charter, replace the words An Editorial with The Citizendium.
  • In Article 21 of the current Charter, after the words be developed when needed by, insert the Citizendium Council and delete the words both the Management and Editorial Councils.
  • In Article 24 of the current Charter, replace the word two with one and, after the word governing, replace councils: Management Council, Editorial with council: the Citizendium.
  • In Article 25, before the main wording, insert the following note in italics: Article 25 is suspended until July 1, 2014.
  • In Article 25, section 1, part 1 of the current Charter, replace the words two Councils with Council and delete the words Elections for the Editorial Council shall be completed by December 21 of each calendar year.
  • In Article 25, section 1, part 4 of the current Charter, delete the words on the first of January for the Editorial Council, and.
  • In Article 25, section 2, part 1 of the current Charter, replace the word a with the.
  • In Article 25, section 4, part 1 of the current Charter, replace the word Either with The.
  • In Article 25, section 4, part 3 of the current Charter, add a full stop (period) after the words Managing Editor, and delete the comma and words , then Members of Editorial Council in an order determined by the Editorial Council.
  • In Article 29, before the main wording, insert the following note in italics: Article 29 is suspended until July 1, 2014.
  • In Article 29, part 3 of the current Charter, replace the words Management Council or Editorial with Citizendium and the word Councils with Council; also, delete the words or the Secretary of the Editorial Council.
  • In Article 32, before the main wording, insert the following note in italics: Part 7 of Article 32 is suspended until July 1, 2014.
  • In Article 35 of the current Charter, replace the word Each with The.
  • In Article 35, part 2 of the current Charter, replace the words that particular with the and after the words to petition, the word that with the.
  • In Article 35, part 3 of the current Charter, delete the word appointing.
  • In Article 35, part 4 of the current Charter, insert the words content and behavior after the word adjudicate and delete the colon and words : content for Editorial Council, behavior for Management Council.
  • In Article 36, part 2 of the current Charter, replace the words Editorial and Management Councils with Citizendium Council.
  • In Article 37, part 1 of the current Charter, replace the words either the Management Council or Editorial with the Citizendium and both instances of the word Either with The.
  • In Article 39, part 1 of the current Charter, replace the word Councils with Council.
  • In Article 40, part 2 of the current Charter, after the words formal decision, insert the words on content disputes or disputes involving violation of the rules; after the words presentation of the issue to the, replace the words appropriate body — Editorial with Citizendium; delete the words for content disputes, Management Council for disputes involving violation of the rules.
  • In Article 40, part 4 of the current Charter, replace the words Editorial Council and the Management and Management Council and Editorial with Citizendium.
  • In Article 42, part 1 of the current Charter, replace the words one member with two members and insert the word and after the final comma.
  • In Article 42 of the current Charter, delete part 2 and rename part 3 as part 2.
  • In Article 43 of the current Charter, replace all instances of the words adjudicating council with Citizendium Council.
  • In Article 45 of the current Charter, replace the words any council with the Citizendium Council, and insert the word any before official.
  • In Article 48 of the current Charter, replace the words Editorial Council, Management with Citizendium.
  • After the above modifications have been completed:
    • For all instances of the phrase Management Council in the current Charter, replace the word Management with Citizendium;
    • For all instances of the phrase Editorial Council in the current Charter, replace the word Editorial with Citizendium;
    • For all instances of the phrase Combined Councils in the current Charter, replace with Citizendium Council.
  • Delete Articles 49, 50, 51, 53, 54 and 55 under 'Transitional Measures'.
  • Rename Article 52 as Article 49 under 'Transitional Measures'.

New article

  • A new Article 50 shall be created, comprising the following wording alone:

The Citizendium Council shall operate within a transitional phase until June 30, 2014, suspending Articles 25, 29, and 32.7, and under which the following conditions apply:

Membership
  1. The Citizendium Council shall initially be convened with a membership comprising elected members of the previous Councils that were abolished by referendum in August 2013, plus any Citizens elected to those Councils in the ballot conducted at that time.
  2. These offices shall not be subject to any requirement for a minimum number of members with Editor or Author-only status.
  3. Constables may not be members. Any elected member who is already a Constable must resign from the Constabulary within 7 days of their election and before taking office, otherwise the Council seat becomes vacant. Any Council member who accepts an appointment to the Constabulary must resign from the Council prior to taking the position.
  4. All terms of office shall be shortened or extended as necessary to expire at the end of June 30, 2014.
  5. The Managing Editor shall be a voting member of the Citizendium Council during its transitional phase only, and shall also be its Chair.
  6. The transitional Citizendium Council shall have an ideal total of five members, and may only exceed this if the number of existing and incoming previous Council members is equal to a figure above five.
Vacancies and Inactivity
  1. No elections shall take place for any office commencing before July 1st, 2014, but the Council may allow community-wide referenda during the interim period.
  2. If the number of Citizendium Council members falls below five for any reason, the Managing Editor may appoint Citizens in good standing to vacant seats, with terms expiring on June 30, 2014.
  3. There shall be no restrictions on the eligibility of appointees to serve, except that they must maintain an unblocked account on the main wiki in their own real name and must not be Constables.
  4. If the Managing Editor makes insufficient appointments within 14 days, the Council shall make appointments. If neither the Managing Editor nor the Council makes sufficient appointments within a further 14 days, Citizens in good standing may volunteer and be appointed if no substantive objections are raised on the Council or among the wider community.
  5. The Managing Editor or the Citizendium Council may rule any elected or unelected office or seat vacant if the holder is judged to be 'inactive' for 30 consecutive days, meaning that they have made no public or private contributions to relevant business during that time. This time-limit begins from the commencement of business in public or private and does not apply at times when no matters are under consideration; nor does it include days before August 8, 2013.
  6. If the Managing Editor position is inactive or vacant, the transitional Citizendium Council shall appoint a replacement who shall serve until June 30, 2014 and who must be an Editor. If no appointment is made within 14 days, a Citizen in good standing may volunteer and be appointed if no substantive objections are raised on the Council or among the wider community.
  7. If the Ombudsman position is inactive or vacant, the Managing Editor shall serve in the role until June 30, 2014.
  8. Any resignation from the Council during the transitional period shall become effective on being made public.
Post-transition arrangements
  1. The transitional Citizendium Council shall decide how many voting members the Citizendium Council shall have from July 1, 2014, but this figure shall not be fewer than 3.
  2. An election to fill all of the seats on the Citizendium Council and any other vacant offices after this transitional phase shall be held before June 30, 2014, organized by an Election Committee appointed by the transitional Citizendium Council or the Managing Editor.
  3. If an Election Committee has not been appointed 21 days before terms of office commence on July 1, 2014, the Committee shall be formed by community agreement. Failing that, the first Citizen in good standing to publicly volunteer up to 14 days before offices are due to commence shall be appointed Chair of the Election Committee and be able to appoint other members.
  4. For this election, half of the seats on the Citizendium Council shall be for shortened terms of one year from July 1, 2014, with the remainder for two-year terms.
  5. The candidates collecting the most votes shall be elected.
  6. Article 50 and the temporary notes under Articles 25, 29 and 32 shall be deleted from this Charter on or after July 1, 2014.

Other referenda

If one or more other Charter-modifying referenda are passed in the July-August 2013 special election, the changes to the Charter imposed by this referendum, if successful, shall be applied first. Wording changes imposed by other successful referenda may be modified only in the interests of overall readability and as long as new changes are not included.