Open Parliament Guide
Hey there! You are either new to writing legislation or you want a refresher. In any case, you have come to the right place.
Before we start, please keep in mind that the Social Liberal Union (the region on NationStates, not the Romanian political party) is a direct democracy. All Member States are invited to submit their ideas to the Open Parliament.
Now that we have that down, let’s get started. Please read this entire guide before submitting legislation to the Open Parliament.
Writing a Bill
We in the Social Liberal Union have a very simple formula for constructing legislation, and it goes like this:
It actually goes something like this:
Industrial Cookie Production Act
Slap on a title for the act. Make sure that it is relevant to the rest of the Act.
This Act ensures that cookie stores never fall below 20 cookies per person per day.
Add a little description of the act here.
Article 1. Regional Control of Cookie Production
This Act gives the Open Parliament the power to control cookie production in all Member States of the region.
There must always be 20 cookies per person per day.
Article 2. Official Snack of the SLU
This Act also makes cookies the official snack of every member state within the region.
This Act further also makes cookies the official snack of the region.
Article 3. Violators
This Act make it so teh parliamen can kick out teh nations that violate this rule.
Article 4. COOKIEZ
ALSO, COOKIES RULE!!!!!11!!!!!!!
General Rules for Bills
While this bill uses the proper format, it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in the Sahara.
- Firstly, the Open Parliament is an out-of-character legislature that governs the out-of-character administration of the Social Liberal Union region on NationStates. As such, generally does not consider "roleplay" legislation that deals with in-character matters of international affairs; for this type of legislation, you should turn to the World Assembly, NationStates' in-character game-wide legislature. Furthermore, neither the SLU nor the Open Parliament have the power to directly control Member States; forcing Member States to produce cookies is illegal under Article 2, Section 4 of the Third Constitution of the Social Liberal Union. Make sure that your bill doesn’t contradict the Constitution or established Acts.
- Secondly, deciding on a regional snack is better left to Resolutions. Mandating that cookies become a national snack of all Member States is unconstitutional.
- Thirdly, please use correct grammar and spelling -- this applies to all pieces of legislation. Try typing out your bill in a word processor like Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Google Doc ... the list goes on. Try to catch your mistakes before submitting your bill.
- Fourthly, extreme usage of caps, lack of capitalization, or excessive use of punctuation is frowned upon and a statement like “cookies rule” is better left to yourself.
Proposing a Bill
Now you have your bill, have reworded the Articles and Sections so that they do not contradict the Constitution nor established Acts, and you have made sure that your grammar and spelling are fine. Now what?
Next, go to the Propose a Bill page, and follow the instructions on that page. When copying your bill to the Library of Parliament, be sure to follow the rules for style laid out in the Manual of Style.
After you've done this, start a discussion thread on the SLU forum, in the Legislation board, to allow for discussion of your bill.
Be prepared to defend or edit your bill as every member of the region is free to discuss it.
Voting on a Bill
Once the bill has been discussed and debated a good amount (generally once there is a consensus or multiple sides have been firmly established), and once you are confident with your work, you may put it up for a vote via a poll. The author of the bill is entitled to decide when the bill goes to vote, but cannot decide when the voting will end.
As constitutionally mandated, the following settings should be selected for the poll:
- Options: Yea, Nay, and Abstain, which correspond with Yes, No, and Abstain
- Display of Results: "Results will...", choose "be shown after this poll is locked"
- Vote Retraction: "User can retract their vote (before the poll is locked)"
As established in the Third Constitution of the Social Liberal Union, Resolutions receive 5 to 7 days of voting, Acts take 7 to 10 days of voting, and Constitutional Amendments take 14 to 21 days of voting.
That should be it. If you are still unsure about what to do, please contact the Speaker of the Union.