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The Western Alliance

Constitution

T

his post defines the basis of leadership for The Western Alliance. It’s fairly boring stuff, but it contains things that need to be put into writing so we have a clear understanding of how this little democracy of ours works.

D

efinitions

A member is defined as the real-life person, and a character is defined as the in-game person.  A member may own several characters.  An Elder (equivalent to an in-game officer) is defined as any member who is permitted access to in-game officer chat and the council area on Discord.  A Council Member is an elected Officer who is permitted to vote in council business.  Every member is either a full member, an initiate member or an inactive member, as defined below.

D

efinitions of Member Status

Initiate

Any member who has been accepted into the kinship but is still on their trial period.  A person will be considered a full member from the date the initiate has the required support from the council.  This with regards to their rights to participate in any official kinship dealings e.g. elections or referenda.

Full Member

Any member of the kinship who is neither an initiate nor inactive.

Inactive

There are three criteria which can cause a player to be considered inactive.  An inactive member may be allowed to vote via a Council decision.

  1. Any member who has stated they are inactive on Discord or have set their status as such.
  2. Any member who has not logged into the game for a period of four weeks without notice.
  3. Any member who has posted they will be away from the game but has not logged in for a period of two months.

(By giving notice you may be away from the game for a period longer than four weeks without being considered inactive however if this period exceeds two months this protection expires.)

M

ember Rights

The Right To Vote

All full members have the right to vote in all kinship elections and referenda.

The Right To Stand

All full members have the right to stand for any elected position in the kinship.

The Right To Be Heard

All full members have the right to raise an issue with the Council through an officer and the Council must discuss the issue at the next meeting.  Any two full members who disagree with a Council/Leader decision can force the Council to re-vote on the issue, upon which the issue is settled.

The Right To Be Consulted

Any major changes to the Constitution must be approved by a vote of the full members.  The result of the members’ vote cannot be overturned through any means except for another vote by the members.

The Right To Appeal

Any member removed from the kinship has the right to appeal the decision to the Council, which must discuss the matter and must vote on whether to uphold or reverse the removal.

T

he Council

Inner Council Structure

The Inner Council of The Western Alliance is a group of Council Members who are actively involved in the day-to-day running of the kinship.  The Inner Council consists of the Kinship Leader, the Deputy Kinship Leader and five officers.  No member may occupy two separate council positions.  The council members are decided by way of an Election (see below).

Kin Leader’s Prerogative

The Kinship Leader has the power to take any decision, at any time, that would normally require a council vote, provided that that decision does not contradict a previous council decision or this constitution.  When making such a decision the Kinship Leader should make known that it is made by his prerogative.  If one officer or two full members declare their objections to a decision made by leader’s prerogative, it should be ratified by a council vote as soon as possible, but ultimately at the next scheduled meeting of the kinship council and will be regarded as a decision by the council.  If there are objections and it is not ratified by the council the decision will be considered to be overturned.  The Kinship Leader may transfer the Leader’s Prerogative to another member of the Council while he is unavailable. The Leader’s Prerogative is transferred to the Deputy Leader or Grand Elder automatically when they become acting Kinship Leader.

Council Vote

Any Council member may propose any issue to vote on, either at a council meeting, or via the Council section of Discord.  A vote is considered won if more than half of the Council have voted in favour of it, whether or not the remaining members have voted.  When a vote is tied, the (acting) Kinship Leader’s vote will be decisive.  If a vote is successful, it is legally binding and can only be overruled by a later council vote.

Once decided upon by the council, any Council member is allowed to execute kinship rules, unless specifically restricted.  This includes (temporarily) suspending members in case of misbehaviour.  If members feel they are wronged this way, they have the right to be heard by the council and the council will decide to confirm or overturn the decision.

E

lections

A General Election to elect all seven Council officers must be held once every nine months.  The start of these elections must fall within the existing term or within two weeks of the previous term ending.

Each General Election will follow the same procedure:

Two weeks prior to the start of the first round of voting all members must be informed of the impending election through a post on Discord and an in-game mail.  All full members may nominate themselves or others for office at this point.  All deadlines for applications, nominations, start and end of voting will be at 8PM UK time on the day they are beginning or ending.  Applications for a certain position close when voting for that position begins.

The time line for the General Elections will be as follows:

Day 1

Voting begins for the position of Kinship Leader.

Day 3

Voting ends for the position of Kinship Leader.  Nominations may still be made for the position of Deputy Kinship Leader.

Day 4

Voting begins for the position of Deputy Kinship Leader.

Day 6

Voting ends for the position of Deputy Kinship Leader.  Nominations may still be made for the position of Council Officer.

Day 7

Voting begins for the position of Council Officer.

Day 9

Voting for the position of Council Officer ends.  The election is over.

N

ominations

  1. Any full member may stand for any elected office in the kinship.
  2. You must be a full member 24 hours before the start of voting on Day 1 to stand for a position.
  3. You may nominate yourself for all elections but will be removed from subsequent elections if you win one.
V

oting

  1. All Full members may cast one vote each for the Leader and Deputy Leader elections respectively, and three votes each for the Officer elections.
  2. You must be a full member 24 hours before the start of voting on Day 1 to vote in the elections.
  3. The winner in the Leader and Deputy Leader elections will be the candidate with the most valid votes.
  4. The winners in the Officer elections will be the five candidates with the most valid votes.
  5. In all ties the winner will be the senior member based upon the date they joined the kinship in-game.
  6. After voting has closed no more votes may be cast even if there is a tie.
  7. Members who think they may not be able to access Discord at the time of voting may register their vote in advance by publicly stating on Discord who they would like to vote for.  This vote can be changed at any time until voting actually opens, at which point it cannot be changed.  If a member votes in advance for someone who does not actually stand in the election the vote is considered null and void.
B

y-elections

A By-election is triggered by:

  1. The Council falling below five active elected members either through officers stepping down or becoming inactive.
  2. The Kinship Leader or Deputy Kinship Leader positions become vacant.
  3. A by-election for a vacant Council position is called for by popular acclaim of the members.
  4. The Council deciding to hold a by-election.

The timetable for the by-election will be as follows:

Day 1

Nominations for the vacant position(s) begin.

Day 3

Voting begins.

Day 5

Voting ends.

The procedure for a by-election will inherit the same rules as for a full election, with the following exceptions:

  1. The election need not be announced before Day 1 of the Voting timetable.
  2. Any existing council member may apply for the position, but if they win the by-election then they immediately lose their old council position.
  3. Members will have the same amount of votes as the amount of Officer positions being voted on.
Notes

Upon winning an election a member is regarded as being the rightful holder of that particular office.  The incumbent is regarded as ‘holding’ the office until such time as the duties can be transferred in game.  The transferral of in game powers must happen as soon as possible after a respective candidate has won an election.

E

mpty Council Position

If a council spot becomes empty, either due to a pending election or a lack of applicants, then the duties of that council member become the responsibility of the Kinship Leader.  (The kinship leader may then delegate those responsibilities to another willing council member.)  If the empty spot is that of Kinship Leader then the Deputy Kinship Leader temporarily takes over the position of Kinship Leader.  If both the Kinship Leader and Deputy Kinship Leader’s positions become empty, then the Grand Elder temporarily takes over the position of Kinship Leader.  The missing member does not have a vote in council matters and the member taking over their responsibilities does not gain an extra vote.  The number of votes needed for a council vote to pass is reduced accordingly.  In case of an empty spot the Council may appoint a temporary Officer who may have officer powers in-game and on Discord but will not be a member of the Council.  This officer must be removed from his position after new General elections are held or if a by-election fills the empty spot with an official officer.

R

eferenda

Some issues are deemed to be too important to be decided solely by the Inner Council.  There are some issues that must be decided by referendum (e.g. a major change to this constitution), and any issue may be decided by a referendum if a council vote is in favour of a referendum on the issue.  A referendum must be announced on Discord at least a week before a voting deadline, set by the inner council.  At the time of announcement, the council must decide the conditions on which the referendum is deemed to be decided.  (Normally this will be a required vote of 2:1 in favour, for an issue that involves a change or non-change, or 1:1 for an either/or situation.)  Each full member is allowed one vote; however, any member that was an initiate, inactive or not a member of the kinship at the time the referendum was announced shall not be entitled to vote.  Voting in a referendum may be terminated early and the results actioned upon if the outcome has already been decided by the votes that have so far been cast.

K

inship Elders

Any member may be granted the honour of becoming an Elder (aka Honorary Officer) by the inner council.  A Kinship Elder is entitled to participate in all inner council discussions (through both in-game officer chat and the council Discord ), but is not allowed to vote in any council votes unless they simultaneously hold an elected council position.  Other duties and privileges may be given to the Kinship Elder at the sole discretion of the council.  A Kinship Elder may have his Elder status revoked at any time by the council.  The Kinship Elder may be given a specific ceremonial title at the council’s discretion.  This position is intended to be a very high honour, usually reserved for outgoing Kinship Leaders, but the title may also be bestowed on anyone the council deems worthy.  Candidates for the title of Kinship Elder must be proposed and seconded by Council officers, and must be approved unanimously by the Council.  Members currently holding the title of Elder are Methrendomir, Thoronthor, Belegwe, Kairos, Ingaras and Eresmir.

G

rand Elder’s Status

Belegwe is given the title of ‘Grand Elder’ by the previous Grand Elder, Garbo and Methrendomir before him.  The Grand Elder’s position has no political power in itself, although the Grand Elder may stand for elections and hold any other Council Position if he is successfully elected.  The Grand Elder does not automatically hold a seat on the Elder’s Inner Council or entitlement to a Council vote; he simply has a historical and ceremonial role.

If the Grand Elder leaves the kinship, he may, at his sole discretion, pass the title of Grand Elder onto another kin member.  The Grand Elder may not be permanently dismissed from the kinship, although the position of Grand Elder may of course be removed by a constitutional amendment and referendum.  The Grand Elder may be temporarily dismissed from the kinship by way of Kin Leader’s prerogative or council vote, however a referendum must immediately be called to remove the position of Grand Elder from the constitution, and if that referendum fails the Grand Elder must be have his dismissal reversed.

C

hanges to the Constitution

Any significant changes to this constitution require a referendum with a majority of at least 2:1 needed to action the change.  The wording of the new constitution must be posted on Discord before the voting starts, and the post containing the new wording must not be edited during, or after, the voting.  Minor changes to the constitution do not require a referendum and only require a successful council vote; such minor changes include spelling and grammar changes, rephrasing to clarify or highlight existing points or minor extensions to the existing rules that are not clear from the current constitution.  If such a minor change is made without a referendum being called, any full member of the kinship has the right to challenge such a change and call a referendum, so long as the challenge is stated clearly on Discord and is made not more than two weeks after the change is made.  Any change to the constitution must be announced clearly on Discord.

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