The Charter of the Democratic Order is TDO's official constitution. It is currently composed of seven articles.
Article 1: Senate Structure and MembershipEdit
Section 1: High SenateEdit
The High Senate shall be the highest level of government within The Democratic Order. The High Senate consists of the core group of founding members as well as those who have shown sufficient merit and skill to be voted in by the current High Senate. Members sit in High Senate indefinitely until expulsion, stepping down, or leaving The Democratic Order.
Section 2: Low SenateEdit
The Low Senate is the lower tier of the government. Membership shall be granted to those members having shown sufficient merit and skill to be raised into the ranks of government.
Section 3: Senate MembershipEdit
3a: High SenateEdit
When a member of the Low Senate has shown sufficient skill and merit a member of the High Senate may move that he or she be made a High Senator at any time. At this time debates will take place and a vote of High Senate members will take place. Entry into the High Senate requires a unanimous vote.
3b: Low SenateEdit
At certain times the Senate may decide more Senators are needed. At this time members of the Senate may move that an alliance member(s) be elevated in status to Senator. Debates for each member will take place during a minimum 36 hour period which will then be followed by votes for each individual member in question by both the Low Senate and High Senate. In instances deemed critical to the function of the alliance, the High Senate may reduce the debating period to 18 hours. If the High Senate carries this exception out, a special thread will be made and will clearly indicate the reduced debating time. Entry into Low Senate requires a majority vote.
3c: Absent VoteEdit
Any Senator not placing a vote within 72 hours will be considered absent and will not count towards the vote for elevating Low Senators. This time shall increase to one week for High Senate votes. It shall be possible for a High Senator to post an absentee ballot on any election for which he knows in advance he will not be able vote in person. Absentee votes will be made by stating his voting intentions to the Chancellor in advance of the voting period. The Chancellor will add this to the other votes cast when declaring the winner.
Section 4: ChancellorEdit
Every other month, a chancellor shall be elected from among the High Senate. The chancellor shall hold no extra real power, but will serve to moderate Senate functions as well as act as the public facing, political head of The Democratic Order. In the event of a tie in a High Senate vote the chancellor may vote again to break the tie.
Section 5: Expulsion from the SenateEdit
At any time that a member of either Senate chamber is thought to no longer serve the best interests of The Democratic Order, any Senator may move that he or she be removed from the senate entirely, or moved from the High Senate to the Low Senate. At this time debate will begin and the High Senate will vote. If the member in question is a High Senator, he may not vote, but may still participate in the debate. Expulsion from the Senate requires a 2/3 majority vote with the same abstention rules as defined in Article 1, Section 3c: Absent Vote.
Article 2: Voting, Bills, and Veto PowerEdit
Section 1: Presenting a Bill or MotionEdit
A Bill shall be defined as any written piece of legislation, such as mutual defense pact, non-aggression pact, internal legislation, and any other written and formal legislation. A member of either chamber of the Senate may at any time present a bill to the Senate for legislation. Debate will take place and will end in a vote.
A Motion shall be any call to a vote on an issue, posted in the forum. Motions are basically the same as presenting a Bill, but are less formal and are for more everyday legislation.
Section 2: VotingEdit
Once a Bill or Motion is presented it shall be debated and voted on by the Senate. All Senators regardless of position or chamber to which they belong shall have one vote in all votes. Both Chambers vote together and their votes are counted together. High Senate votes are only done separately in instances where the High Senate is the only chamber voting such as promoting members to Senate status, veto, etc. Unless otherwise specified all votes are won or lost by a simple majority.
In the event of a tie when voting on a Bill or Motion, the High Senate shall vote and its vote will serve to break the tie. In the event of a High Senate tie the Chancellor shall cast another vote to break the tie.
Section 3: VetoEdit
In response to passed legislation any High Senator may announce a move for Veto at which time it will move to the High Senate chambers. It will be debated, voted on, and the decision will then be announced to the Low Senate. Veto requires a 2/3rds majority vote of the High Senate. Any vetoed bill or motion may not be presented again without High Senate approval for two weeks.
Section 4: Absent VoteEdit
Any Senator not placing a vote within 72 hours will be considered absent and will not count towards the vote unless time, not to exceed one week, is specified in the bill or motion. It shall be possible for a Senator to post an absentee ballot on any vote for which he or she knows in advance he or she will not be able to vote in person. Absentee votes will be made by stating voting intentions to the Chancellor in advance of the voting period. The Chancellor will add this to the other votes cast when declaring results.
Section 5: AbstainingEdit
No Senator of either Chamber is obliged to cast a vote on any given issue. Abstention is a legitimate form of response to a debate.
Article 3: Minister Election, Positions, and MinistriesEdit
Section 1: Elections and TermsEdit
Elections shall take place every other month over the course of the last full week of the month. Entry will open on Sunday for eligible members to enter into the running for the position of their choice; only one position may be held or run for at any time by any one member. Entry will remain open until Wednesday evening. Each Ministry shall be served by a single Minister for two months. All times are based on EST.
Debates will open immediately after entry begins. One area will be opened for each position for its debate. Debates will remain open until the start of voting.
Voting shall begin Thursday and last until Saturday evening with the winner coming by way of simple majority. Elected officials will take office on the first day of the month of their term. All member nations of The Democratic Order get one vote in each race.
1c: Term of officeEdit
Minister seats are held for two months, starting on the first day of the month and ending on the last day of the second month. The chancellor seat is held for two months, taking office on the first day of the month and ending on the last day of the second month.
Minister positions may be held by any Senator of either chamber. The Chancellor position may only be held by a member of the High Senate.
Section 2: PositionsEdit
The chancellor shall serve to moderate senate functions as well as act as the political head of the alliance. In the event of a tie in a high senate vote the chancellor may vote again to break the tie.
Ministers shall be responsible for everyday running and organization of their Ministry. Ministers may appoint Deputy Ministers as needed, from any member rank. Deputy Ministers shall work under their Minister to aid in the everyday operations of the Ministry.
Section 3: MinistriesEdit
3a: Ministry of DefenseEdit
The goal of the Ministry of Defense is to organize the members of The Democratic Order into a cohesive organized unit for warfare and military preparedness and ensure member nations adhere to the The Democratic Order’s policy on aggressive acts against other nations. The Ministry is divided into two parts separating active military from reservists.
3b: Ministry of Internal AffairsEdit
The goal of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is to protect The Democratic Order from the inside out. Its duties include identification of spies, internal security matters, performing checks on suspect members, and settling member disputes.
3c: Ministry of FinanceEdit
The Ministry of Finance shall be responsible for the coordination of loans, grants, and aid.
3d: Ministry of IntelligenceEdit
The Ministry of Intelligence shall be responsible for all matters of external intelligence, to include but not be limited to: surveillance of other alliances, records of current alliances and treaties within the world, current leadership of other alliances, and all external intelligence gathering needs of The Democratic Order.
3e: Ministry of Foreign AffairsEdit
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for the coordinating and carrying out of diplomatic relations and negotiations with other alliances. It is responsible for building and making treaties, establishing and maintaining embassies, and building better relations with other alliances.
3f: Ministry of GrowthEdit
The Ministry of Growth is responsible for recruiting new members and for growth of the alliance. MoG shall be responsible for receiving and reviewing applications for Provisional Membership, monitoring Provisional Members and ensuring they are properly prepared for full membership. The Ministry shall be empowered to bestow full membership status when entitlement is reached. The Ministry shall also be responsible for introducing new members to The Democratic Order, its offsite forum, information resources, processes and policies.
3g: Ministry of TechnologyEdit
The Ministry of Technology shall be responsible for the coordination of tech deals inside and outside the Alliance. Mass tech agreements can be overruled by a 51% vote of the voting Senators, and can never be conducted with alliances in an alliance war, despite any positive Senate vote; nor can any tech be sold to nations at war.
3h: Ministry of TradesEdit
The Ministry of Trades shall be responsible for the creation and maintenance of individual trades and trade circles inside and outside the Alliance. If trades are available inside the Alliance, they are to take priority over trades outside the alliance.
Section 4: Senate OversightEdit
Should the Senate come to believe that the actions of a Minister are not in the best interests of The Democratic Order, any Senator may move to overrule him or her. At this time, debate will begin, followed by a vote. Simple majority will overrule the minister.
If a Minister steps down before the completion of the term or remains missing from the forum for seven (7) days without informing either senate, then the High Senate shall vote to appoint a replacement. Upon receiving at least a simple majority of the High Senate vote, the nominee becomes "Acting Minister." The Low Senate then begins a separate simple majority vote to install the "Acting Minister" as "Minister." Newly installed Ministers carry out the remainder of the previous Minister's term.
In the event the Acting Minister does not gain a simple majority of the Low Senate vote, the nominee remains "Acting Minister" until such time as a special election can be called using normal nominating, debating, and voting procedure. The winner of this special election will serve as minister for the remainder of the previous minister's term. This special election should be started in a timely fashion following the failure of the approval vote in the Low Senate.
If there are fewer than seven (7) days between the end of the Low Senate vote and the beginning of the normal minister elections, the special election will not be held, and the acting minister will remain in place until his/her replacement is chosen in the normal elections.
Article 4: MembershipEdit
Section 1: JoiningEdit
Any nation may request membership into The Democratic Order. New members are required to not be in any current wars and request membership in the appropriate area using the following information:
Forum Name if different:
CN Forum Name:
Special Skills or Training:
I confirm I have read TDO Charter and will abide by it:
Should said nation be at war its application will be put on hold for the duration of said war.
1a: Provisional MembershipEdit
Upon acceptance a member shall be granted the status of Provisional Member and masked on the forum accordingly.
The rank of Provisional Member shall last until the given member has completed the quiz certifying them as qualified for full membership, at which time the member shall be fully bound by the charter, receiving all defensive benefits. Should a provisional member break the terms of the charter - for example by declaring an unauthorized offensive war - that member shall be subject to immediate expulsion from The Democratic Order with no right to appeal.
Having been expelled, that nation will be considered a rogue Independent Nation having shown a serious infraction against The Democratic Order and may be treated accordingly, under the terms in Article 6, Section 2a.
Upon successful completion of the Provisional Membership period, full membership rights are automatically granted.
The Democratic Order is an Aqua alliance. While members of any team will be accepted they will have to change their color.
1c: Post Acceptance RequirementsEdit
Within 48 hours of acceptance the new Provisional Member is required to change nation color to Aqua and change alliance affiliation in their nation bio to The Democratic Order.
Exceptions may be granted by the Senate if they feel the applicant has a strong case for staying in their color.
Section 2: SecessionEdit
At any time a member may leave The Democratic Order of their own free will. If any conditions were agreed to prior to secession such as acceptance of grants, loans, or any other assistance the member is required to fulfill those terms as soon as they are able.
Section 3: ExpulsionEdit
A member may be expelled from the alliance under the following conditions:
Breach of provisional membership by declaring an unauthorized war as defined in Article 4, Section 1a shall cause the member to be immediately expelled from the alliance.
Breach of membership by declaring an unauthorized war and failing to provide a timely and satisfactory explanation as defined in Article 6, Section 2 shall cause the member to be immediately expelled from the order.
3c: If, at any time, a member is thought by the Senate to no longer serve the best interests of The Democratic Order, any Senator may move that the member in question be expelled from The Democratic Order. A debate will begin at this time and the entire Senate will vote. If the member in question is a Senator, he may not vote, but may still participate in the debate. Expulsion from The Democratic Order requires a 2/3 majority vote with the same abstention rules as defined in Article 2, Section 4.
Any High Senator may call for the expedited removal of a member of the Democratic Order felt to pose an immediate and present danger to the Order due to their action. At this time, a discussion and vote will be held among the High Senators. Expulsion of a member in this fashion requires a 3/4 super-majority of the High Senate in favor, and the discussion and debate may occur simultaneously and may end as soon as there is a sufficient majority, or else after 72 hours have passed from the time the removal is called for. In this situation the member may be allowed to participate in the discussion if the High Senate wishes, but it is not required. It is expected that any use of this expedited process will be scrutinized carefully by the entire Senate, and a copy of the discussion and vote (including how each Senator voted) must be made available to the full Senate.
Section 4: Expedited ExpulsionEdit
In the event that a member (Senator or not) needs to be removed from The Democratic Order in an expedited fashion, a High Senator may move that he be immediately expelled. At this time, debate will begin and the High Senate will vote. If the member in question is a High Senator, he may not vote, but may participate in the debate. Expulsion of a player in this fashion requires a 3/4 vote of the High Senate with the same abstention rules as defined in Article 1, Section 3c.
Article 5: Charter AmendmentEdit
Section 1: Proposal and RequirementsEdit
While the Charter is not necessarily a living document, it is recognized and understood that as times change and The Democratic Order grows it may become necessary to amend the Charter in certain ways.
1a: Senate proposalEdit
A group of three or more Senators who feel the Charter is in need of amendment may jointly sponsor a Bill to the Senate detailing the desired amendments. Any Bill not sponsored by at least three Senators shall not be open to debate, voting, or ratification.
1b: Member proposalEdit
Any member may petition the Senate to amend a section of the Charter. To be brought to the Senate, the member/s seeking to amend the charter must draft a Bill and submit it with the number of signers totaling ¼ of the current membership excluding Senators, both High and Low, whose signatures will not count, at the time the petition is submitted. Petitioners must also gain the support of at least one Senator to sponsor the petition within the Senate.
Section 2: VotingEdit
When a proposed Bill or petition to amend the charter has met the requirements for submission it will move into the voting process; this process shall have a separate structure from that of normal bills.
Once a Bill for amendment has been submitted to the Senate it shall remain in a state of debate for a period of four days before moving to a vote.
After the four day debate period, the voting process shall begin in two parts: voting and ratification. The first step in voting shall be a vote by the Low Senate following normal voting time lines. High Senate members will not cast any votes in this phase. If the proposed amendment receives a 2/3 majority vote it shall move to the High Senate for ratification. If it does not receive a 2/3 majority vote, but at least a simple majority vote, it will move back to debate for a period of 48 hours, after which time another vote by the Low Senate shall take place. It is also at this time that amendments may be made to the proposal. If the proposed amendment does not receive at least a simple majority vote, or fails to receive the needed 2/3 majority vote on the second vote, the proposed amendment shall be considered a dead Bill. Should it receive the needed votes it will then move on for ratification.
Should the proposed amendment receive the required 2/3 majority Low Senate vote it will move to the High Senate for ratification. A 24 hour debate period for final debate among the High Senate will commence, after which time it will move to vote. A 2/3 majority vote of High Senators is required to ratify the amendment. Should this occur, the amendment will be implemented immediately. Should the High Senate fail to issue a 2/3 majority vote in favor of the amendment it will be considered a dead Bill. There will be only one High Senate vote for ratification of proposed amendments.
Article 6: War stance and declarationEdit
Section 1: Alliance StanceEdit
The Democratic Order is, by nature, a peaceful alliance which believes that by limiting warfare, nations shall prosper. It is for this reason that The Democratic Order does not support striking the first blow or in the provoking of wars. The Democratic Order only goes to war when no other option is present than to defend itself or its members.
Section 2: Declaration of WarEdit
The Democratic Order shall maintain a no first strike policy in regards to war. The reasons for this are numerous but are most notably security, order, and peaceful prosperity. No member of The Democratic Order may go to war without proper approval from the Minister of Defense and/or the Senate.
Any member of The Democratic Order that starts a war is required to post in the TDO forum to explain and justify their act. If no explanation is forthcoming within 48 hours of war being declared, that member shall be summarily expelled from The Democratic Order. If an explanation is posted within 48 hours of war being declared, the Senate shall decide, by means of vote, whether a satisfactory explanation for the war has been provided. If, as a result of the vote, the explanation is deemed unsatisfactory, the member shall be expelled immediately.
Having been expelled, that nation will be considered a rogue Independent Nation having shown a serious infraction against The Democratic Order and may be treated accordingly, under the terms in Article 6, Section 2a.
Note that because the use of spies is a covert act – one that is not reported via an official screen, unless the spies are revealed during an operation - members can only be trusted to report their spying activity. However, where evidence of spying is available it will be treated in a manner equivalent with other acts of war by members.
2a: Independent NationsEdit
The sitting Minister of Defense or one of his chosen deputies may declare war against an independent nation who has attacked a member of The Democratic Order or in some other way shown a serious infraction against The Democratic Order justifying such action. A nation will be deemed Independent if it does not indicate an alliance affiliation on its nation page. A nation who has not attacked or shown a serious infraction against The Democratic Order shall only be subject to official declaration of war by the Senate.
2b: Allied nations and other alliancesEdit
No allied nation or alliance may have war declared upon it except by official war declaration by the Senate. The Minister of Defense or his deputies do not hold the power to declare war on allied nations or alliances. Single nations within a larger alliance attacking The Democratic Order fall under this clause as well to prevent escalation into a full scale inter-alliance war. Any nation declaring an alliance affiliation which subsequently proves to be falsely held, after full investigation by an appropriate officer of The Democratic Order, shall be treated as an independent nation.
2c: Senate declaration of warEdit
When the Senate feels an independent nation, allied nation, or alliance has shown sufficient justification to have war declared upon it, the Senate may issue an official Senate declaration of war.
2c-1: Independent NationEdit
Any Senator may move that an independent nation have a declaration of war made upon it. Said Senator must state the reasons for war and it will then be open to debate and vote with a simple majority deciding the outcome. Should a declaration of war be issued it shall be handed down to the Minister of Defense to be carried out.
2c-2: Allied Nations or AlliancesEdit
Any Senator may move that an alliance or a nation within an alliance has shown sufficient justification to have a declaration of war made against it. Due to the implications of attacking a member of another alliance, and through that possibly his/her alliance, or an alliance itself, this shall require a more thorough review and vote for war to be declared. Any Senator may present a bill for a war declaration to be made against an affiliated nation or alliance. This bill must include outlined statistics and strength of the alliance in question, justification for war, and reasoning behind it. It shall then move to a period of debate as needed and then on to vote within the Low Senate. Should the bill receive a 2/3 majority vote within the Low Senate it shall move on to the High Senate. Should it not receive a 2/3 majority, but receive at least a 1/2 majority, it may be presented again with any changes and new debate before moving to another vote. Should it receive a 2/3 majority vote it will move on to the High Senate, failing this a second time it will be considered dead. Once within the High Senate voting shall begin after any needed debate and require a 2/3 majority vote to pass else it be considered a dead bill. Once a declaration of war is passed it shall be handed down to the sitting Minister of Defense to be carried out. Before any operations commence declaration shall be made public as well as delivered directly to the named alliance.
2d: Declaration of war or full scale attack against The Democratic OrderEdit
Should The Democratic Order receive notification of war declared upon it or be under full scale attack by another alliance, the Minister of Defense is authorized to consider The Democratic Order in a state of full scale inter-alliance war and use all measure necessary to preserve the security of The Democratic Order. Voting in the Senate chamber shall commence immediately on response for an official declaration of war against the attackers.
2e: Nuclear first strikeEdit
The Democratic Order shall not condone nor make use of nuclear first strike without a unanimous vote in the High Senate in favor of such. This applies to any and all enemies of The Democratic Order regardless of the order in which attacks commenced, both independent nations and alliances. Should another entity make use of nuclear weapons against member/s of The Democratic Order, use of nuclear weapons in a counter strike capacity is immediately authorized. However, full scale unrestricted use of nuclear weapons by The Democratic Order members shall still require a unanimous High Senate vote.
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