Tuesday, March 10, 2009
About those amendments.
I don't know the current form of the bill, and we won't find out until at least next week, since the Senate refuses to do the Senate summaries they require themselves to do, not to mention its failure to include committee reports in the agenda packet. (Shocker. Is it really too much to ask that the Senate announce the bills it passes and what they say?)
The original version I saw had four different amendments, and I think I heard that there were five, now. One corrects (sigh) typos in the ASUC Constitution. Another rephrases "specific statement of the reasons" to "statement of specific reasons" for recall petitions. Despite what The Daily Cal article says, I believe this is a separate amendment.
The two more substantial ones I saw change the petition requirements (currently 1000 students) to percentages. To recall an officer would require 35% of the number of students who voted in the previous year's election. I've heard that some people made the strange claim that the bar for recalling Senators should somehow be lower than the bar for recalling executives. This reflects a very odd way of looking at representation.
To review, executives represent the entire student body. They don't compete with each other, and the winner of the election gets the single office. Recalling such a person should be as simple as the student body saying they want a better representative for the entire student body.
Senators, on the other hand, are elected in a proportional representation system, which means they typically represent the will of a small minority of voters (~5%). For the majority of campus to deny a minority of voters the voice they rightfully deserve should be a much more severe undertaking than to replace a representative of the entire student body.
The last amendment requires 25% of the student body to sign a petition to put an initiative or Constitutional amendment on the ballot. This is largely irrelevant, since no one attempts initiatives, nor does anyone try to get Constitutional amendments through the petition process, since the Senate can do it far easier, and they typically refuse to exercise their discretion to shoot down bad referenda or amendments.
I don't know what these amendments currently look like, or if there are any other ones.
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