General Assembly

From TLAwiki
Government Branches
LegislatureGeneral Assembly
JudiciarySupreme Court
The General Assembly of
The Leftist Assembly
Current: 25th General Assembly
Membership~7 Members (inc. Speaker)

The General Assembly is the legislative branch of The Leftist Assembly. It consists of a number of members (known as MGAs) equal to the cube root of electoral citizens, rounded to the nearest ten, at the commencement of the most recent Legislative election.

Each MGA's term lasts for three months, with elections commencing on the 15th of January, April, July, and October.

This body proposes and votes on new laws and amendments to existing laws as per the Legislative Process Act. It internally elects one of its MGAs as Speaker to organise the legislature's activities.

History[edit | edit source]

Party system[edit | edit source]

Upon its founding, the region functioned with a multi-party system, with the General Assembly serving all functions of regional government. This system was complicated and details were often disputed between legislators. The only election where it was used was the March 2016 general election, where there was a two-stage election. The first saw numerous candidates nominated to different executive positions by their party. Once these were elected, an additional vote was held to determine the number of seats each party received out of the total 100 in the legislative General Assembly. Rather than there being 100 individual nations each representing their party, each party would put forward a single stance on each legislation. For example, the 1st General Assembly required any two parties to vote for a piece of legislation to pass it. In late August 2016, the region decided in a referendum to scrap the party system and instead adopt a new non-partisan system of government in the form of a 9-member council as proposed by Llorens. The General Assembly continued to serve as the regional government, composed of the Secretary, Prime Minister, and specific Ministers, three of which were Ministers of Law who served as tiered Justices.

Secretary voting power[edit | edit source]

The Secretary initially had the authority to veto legislative bills, which the General Assembly could only override with a two-thirds supermajority. The Equal Vote Act, passed by the 6th General Assembly on 18 July 2017, abolished this authority, ensuring that all members of the General Assembly had equal voting power. The change would not have changed the outcome of any bill voted on by the General Assembly to that point.

Ministerial changes[edit | edit source]

The Legislature Reduction Act, passed by the 6th General Assembly on 25 July 2017, merged the Minister of Immigration and Customs into the Minister of Foreign Affairs as of the September 2017 general election. The Military Removal Act, passed by the 7th General Assembly on 25 October 2017, abolished the Minister of Defence position due to a lack of participation in the Leftist Defence Force.

The Judicial Separation Act, passed by the 7th General Assembly on 6 November 2017, rearranged the General Assembly into a body of five Senators as well as the Secretary and Prime Minister, excluding ministers of specific portfolios from the General Assembly. Despite no longer being members of the General Assembly from November 2017, ministers continued to fall under its purview until the formalisation of the Cabinet in August 2019. Whereas the Secretary had complete freedom to appoint whichever Ministers they saw fit from November 2017, the Set Ministers legislative package, which passed in August 2018, mandated the existence of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Media, and Recruitment. The Minister Responsibilities Amendment (Decentralised Media), passed by the 12th General Assembly on 17 January 2019, abolished the Minister of Media following the collapse of the regional newspaper, The Red Star.

Other voluntarily appointed portfolios during this time included Ministers of Recruitment, Culture, Diversity and Inclusion, World Assembly Affairs, and NationStates Affairs (predecessor to the Minister of Information), as well as a short-lived People's Advocate.

Separation of powers[edit | edit source]

The Judicial Separation Act, passed by the 7th General Assembly on 6 November 2017, created an independent Supreme Court apart from the General Assembly. Previously, the three Justices had been voting members of the General Assembly, serving in legislative and executive roles. The changes were implemented following the December 2017 general election, which also saw the adoption of five Senators in addition to the Secretary and Prime Minister as previously mentioned.

Ministers were also no longer members of the General Assembly, but they did not have their own formal branch of government until the Separate Cabinet legislative package, introduced by the 14th General Assembly and passed in August 2019. As per its changes, the Secretary and Prime Minister also ceased to be members of the General Assembly, supplementing this with an increase in Members of the General Assembly - renamed from Senators - to 7. This made the executive and legislative branches entirely distinct, whereas the General Assembly had previously been responsible for most executive functions.

Two-thirds amendments[edit | edit source]

The revamped Constitution and Code of Laws, which passed on 26 September 2018, required amendments to the Constitution to achieve a two-thirds majority in a referendum to be passed. Previously, they had only required a simply majority.

Voting procedures[edit | edit source]

Since the complete separation of powers by the end of 2019, the General Assembly as a government structure and institution has remained largely unaltered, though its operation has changed with time. The Legislature Conduct Amendment (Public Deliberations), passed by the 16th General Assembly, required General Assembly procedures to be open to the public, while introducing required vote explanations from each MGA. The 18th General Assembly passed two Legislative Process Amendments, Neutral Signatories and Voting Duration, confirming the ability for all reasonable bills to be introduced for consideration (regardless of a signatory's own support) while setting the voting period for MGAs to its current two-day length. The Legislative Process Amendment (Abstention Quorum), passed by the 20th General Assembly, made a clearer distinction between actually-cast votes to abstain and uncast votes, requiring both a majority of non-abstaining MGA's to vote in favor as well as a majority of MGA's to cast a vote at all in order for legislation to pass; for instance, in a 7-member General Assembly, a bill cannot pass 2-1 if the other 4 MGA's did not cast a vote within two days, but can pass 2-1 if at least one other MGA voted to abstain (where at least four out of seven MGA's cast a vote).

The General Assembly has operated continuously on one public Discord server since the election of the 22nd General Assembly in June 2021.

Candidate eligibility and separate elections[edit | edit source]

Changes in participation in regional government have led to a focus on eligibility, legality, and opportunities to run and serve as MGA, with several key pieces of legislation passing since 2020.

A limit of three consecutive terms as MGA was abolished by the Election Amendment (Participatory Reform), passed by the 18th General Assembly and implemented following the September 2020 general election. The Executive Limitation Constitutional Amendment, introduced by the 20th General Assembly and passed on 22 December 2020, prohibited a Secretary from simultaneously serving as an MGA. The Election Amendment (Nomination Restriction), passed by the 21st General Assembly on 29 March 2021, explicitly prohibited simultaneously nomination for both Secretary and MGA, following parallel discussions on intent to serve and rulings from the 21st Supreme Court over dual citizen eligibility to run for positions while simultaneously serving in another region's government.

The Splitting Elections legislative package, introduced by the 22nd General Assembly and passed in July 2021, separated the general election into staggered Secretarial and Legislative elections one and a half months apart, giving the legislative and executive branches of government their own dedicated electoral cycles: Secretarial elections remain on the general election schedule, beginning on the 1st of every March, June, September, and December, while Legislative elections for MGA's begin on the 15th of every January, April, July, and October. This was originally intended to encourage year-round regional activity and election participation, allowing for more frequent entry into government and making sure individuals were no longer conflicted over which position to run for. The first separate Legislative election occured in October 2021.

Terms[edit | edit source]

Led by Secretary[edit | edit source]

Term Election Secretary
1st March 2016 Atealia
2nd - Atealia
3rd September 2016 Cedoria
4th December 2016 Cedoria
5th March 2017 Losinia/Atealia
6th June 2017 Llorens
7th September 2017 Llorens
8th December 2017 South Miruva
9th March 2018 Cedoria
10th June 2018 Kavagrad
11th September 2018 Kavagrad
12th December 2018 New Arkados
13th March 2019 The Final Horseman
14th June 2019 The Final Horseman

Led by Speaker[edit | edit source]

Term Election Speaker
15th September 2019 Kavagrad
16th December 2019 Nottinhaps/Kavagrad
17th March 2020 Podria
18th June 2020 Kavagrad
19th September 2020 Antinios
20th December 2020 Podria
21st March 2021 New Flamington
22nd June 2021 Dyl
23rd October 2021 Ghillemear
24th January 2022 Podria/The Grand Union Kingdom
25th April 2022 The Grand Union Kingdom/TBD