The senate will be formed by 1 member from each state in Australia and New Zealand and the GCA developers. This will result in a maximum of 10 senators representing two countries plus any developers who are on board. A state need not be represented, but should a state be not represented, they will continue unrepresented until the next election. In the event of a senator standing down, that state will continue unrepresented until the next election.
Senators will serve a term of around 12 months. Senators are eligible for re-election every 12 months. Nominations will be called for approximately 1 month prior to elections and vote will be taken for any state where there is more than one nomination. The senator will be elected on a "first past the post" result. Nominations must come from the nominee.
Governance of the website and the way that Geocaching Australia continues in the Australian geocaching space will be a collaborative effort between the senate and the developers. Voting in the Senate will be on a "first past the post" result. In the event of a tie further discussion and voting will take place.
When 50% +1 or more of the senators and developers choose an option, it will be considered a decision. Senators may "opt out" of voting, however their "opt out" vote will not be taken into consideration. Senators may not proxy their vote to another senator.
e.g. If only 9 senators vote and there are 5 FOR and 4 AGAINST, then the YES vote will be considered to the the decision even though there are senators who did not express a preference either way.
Major decisions in terms of the direction of the website should be proposed to the senate who will help to formulate the acceptance or rejection of the position to be adopted and guide the website towards achieving that goal. This is done though the Geocaching Australia Senate forum.
Enhancements to the functionality of the website where a function pre-exists do not need approval of the senate. e.g. Additional statistical data or data feeds to other sites.
Enhancements to the functionality of the website where a function does not currently exist may be provided to the senate for review and discussion. e.g. Recent introductions such as routes, individual watchlist and cache owner email updates, warnings for geocaching in banned zones, etc, etc.
Concepts for rewards programs shall be provided to the senate in confidence for review and discussion.
Our current philosophy is loosely stated as "free and open" which is the desire of the founders for a geocaching website where there will never be mandatory payment for access to geocache data and the data of the website can be openly shared to other websites. Data will be licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 deed. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ This is already agreed to when a cacher lists their cache at Geocaching Australia.
Funding of the website will be via voluntary donations or from the profit on the sale of token goods.
The role of Senator is not onerous and decisions are only likely to be taken a few times a year.
The senators are discussing the terms of reference for the 2011 year. I know we're a bit late this year calling for nominations and elections. The senate is tied up in discussing a few things and it's probably better to have consistency for those discussions. However, now is the time to start considering whether the site has been run the way you would like, are the things that go on that you would like to influence, do you have things to change the direction of the website (not the game, the site) that would benefit from you being in a "position of power".
The put your political thinking caps on, prepare to lobby your constituents to vote for you and (when the time comes), throw your hat into the ring and nominate yourself. ONLY self nominations will be accepted. We can't accept a nomination for a 3rd party unless they think they can do a great job and nominate themselves.
If you have questions over what the senators did during our week in Hawaii our hard work throughout the year, don't hesitate to ask and one of your friendly senators will respond.