Council (Sandus)

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Council of the State of Sandus
Conseil de l'État de Sandus
Concilium Civitatis Sande
Council Logo.png
Type
Type
Unicameral
History
Founded4 January 2015
Leadership
Elections
Last election
20 March 2021
Next election
20 March 2022
Website
Council webpage on Sandus.org

The Council of the State of Sandus is the legislature of the State of Sandus. It is a direct democratic assembly, meaning that all Sandum citizens can vote in the Council if they decide to join and be members of the Council. The Council is presided over by and elects a Speaker, who is currently Artemis Baca. Before February 2021, the Speaker was called the Facilitator. Today the Council is considered to be the democratic branch of Sandus's neoclassical republic together with the Citizens' Party of Sandus and the Sôgmô.

From January 2015 to July 2021, the rules that governed the body were determined by a series of ad hoc decisions before the adoption of a new foundational document on 12 July 2021 called the Rules and Procedures of the Council. Before the adoption of this foundational document, the Council's sessions were determined by lunar months and the election of the then-facilitator was held first every three months, then every six, and finally every year.

History

Before the establishment of the Council in January 2015, a range of democratic arrangements were created in Sandus both as a check on the absolute power of the Sôgmô and as a democratic forum for Sandum citizens. In September 2011, the Sôgmô passed a law that required the annual election of the Sôgmô on the Winter Solstice and created two offices, the democratically-elected Sanôba or Phanem Representative and the Comrade Representative who was ex officio the Secretary of the then-Citizens' Communist Party of Sandus. That November and December, the Citizens' Communist Party of Sandus held its first party congress and voted to become enfranchised as a cooperative within Sandus. As an enfranchised cooperative, the party's role was both to act as an organ to advance Socialism in Sandus and to exist as an annual democratic forum during the party's annual congresses in November.

In November 2014, however, the party's approved of the Sôgmô's Building Democracy Plan that was published in October. Under the plan, the Citizens' Party of Sandus was rebranded and its former power as a democratic forum given to a continually running democratic assembly, the Council. At the 2014 Winter Solstice Election, the plan was unanimously approved and the Council held its first session on 4 January 2015. At the time, the Council was intended at first to have seasonal meetings, but the 2014 Party Congress recommended that the plan be changed to have monthly meetings close to the Full Moon. The Council's first meeting, however, was the only Council meeting to have been synchronous, though from this practice the Council was governed until 2021 through a system of administrative lunar months. At the time, all motions and bills put before the Council had to be approved by the Full Moon or be restarted in the new administrative month.

Over time, the Council made other decisions that changed how it was managed and worked in practice. For example, at first the Council did not have a stated quorum or even a threshold whereby a vote would pass or fail. All decisions were decided according to those who voted. If a majority of voters voted in the affirmative, a vote would pass, and there was no required duration of time for public comment, debate, or even voting. This was all determined by the facilitator.

Over time, however, it was decided to normalise voting in the Council. A quorum rule was created whereby a majority of members in the Council (that is, citizens who were members in the Council) had to vote on a vote for it to pass. Facilitators' terms were successively extended, too, and their powers more clearly organised in the Sandum constitution broadly. As late as Spring 2021, however, there were no rules on required time limits on votes and public deliberation since, before then, the Council continued to operate on its administrative calendar of lunar months.

Today the Council is continuously run as an online democratic forum that includes a large number of Sandum citizens, though not all. No longer run by a facilitator elected every six months, its Speaker is elected on the Spring Equinox in elections administered by the Central People's Government. The Council's rules and procedures are now formalised in a single document, the Rules and Procedures of the Council, that provide continuing structure to the body's work and deliberations. The Council briefly attempted to include another official outlet on the Sandum Discord server during the COVID-19 pandemic where citizens could vote and become members, though this was eventually abandoned in favour of a single forum in the Rules and Procedures.

Speaker of the Council

The Speaker of the Council, known before February 2021 as the Facilitator of the Council, is one of three major constitutional offices in the State of Sandus, known as the Grand Officers of State or Grand State Officers. The Speaker manages the Council's business, ensures the proper running of the Council according to its rules and procedures, and exercises a mandate that conforms to the Sandum people's will and that ensures the Sandum democracy's continuity and strength. It is considered the third highest office in Sandus because of its seniority and history.

To date, only four people have been elected Speaker or Facilitator of the Council: Adam von Friedeck, Sophia Albina, Erik Jóhannes-Baptistesbur, and Artemis Baca. At times when there is a vacancy, the Sôgmô fills the role as acting Speaker.

# Portrait Name Term Party
1 Facilitator
Gaius Soergel Publicola
4 January 2015 5 March 2015 Citizens' Party of Sandus
2 Facilitator
Adam von Friedeck
5 March 2015 1 July 2015 Citizens' Party of Sandus
3 Acting Facilitator
Gaius Soergel Publicola
1 July 2015 27 September 2015 Citizens' Party of Sandus
4 Facilitator
Adam von Friedeck
27 September 2015 20 June 2016 Citizens' Party of Sandus
5 Facilitator
Sophia Albina
20 June 2016 16 September 2016 Citizens' Party of Sandus
6 Acting Facilitator
Gaius Soergel Publicola
16 September 2016 16 October 2016 Citizens' Party of Sandus
7 Facilitator
Hatsu Ryuho
16 October 2016 5 January 2019 Citizens' Party of Sandus
8 Facilitator
Artemis Baca
5 January 2019 2 September 2020 Citizens' Party of Sandus
9 Facilitator
Hatsu Ryuho
2 September 2020 27 February 2021 Citizens' Party of Sandus
10 Acting Speaker
Gaius Soergel Publicola
27 February 2021 20 March 2021 Citizens' Party of Sandus
11 Speaker
Artemis Baca
20 March 2021 Present Citizens' Party of Sandus

Rules and Procedures