(i.e. those who are powerful enough to qualify as national powers in their own right; veto powers)
(This is my case for the way I've been approaching things; I present it as an invitation to critique or to offer
Here are the reasons I see for why we should not, and in fact do not need to, award our Circle veto privileges or any other special status as members of the Deliberative:
A) All members of the Deliberative should be equals - one shard, one vote. Each member should hold primacy in their areas of official responsibility, but other than that, no one's word or will should hold more weight than that of anyone else.
The reasoning for this is that it makes the Deliberative more attractive as a body for other Exalts to seek to join, and for nations and groups to ally themselves with. People (Exalts and un-Exalted nation and faction-heads) will have less incentive to join the Deliberative if all that it offers them is second-class status. While the stated goals and values of the Deliberative are currently highly nebulous, there has been some vague talk about opposing tyranny and protecting the lives and rights of all people. That message won't hold up if the Deliberative conducts itself as the Super Special Solars Club, where everybody else is just an auxiliary member.
B) I can identify four reasons for why an Exalt ought to be invited into the Deliberative:
1. Might - raw, simple power, measured in Essence, or rather, Essence cross referenced with Exaltation-type. (We know that certain exaltations are more powerful than others of equal Essence-rating. I would say that, at a minimum, Solars/Abyssals with Ess 5, Celestials with Ess 6 and Terrestrials with Ess 7[?] should be auto-includes if they aren't specifically antagonistic to the Deliberative and everything it stands for - as is the case with almost all Abyssals.)
2. Expertise - somewhat less powerful Exalts with very useful specialties (including important secrets) might make logical candidates in the future. As it is, all of our current members with strong expertise credentials (Zahara, Spring, Cerin) already qualify in 2-3 other areas.
3. Resources - again, a lower-power Exalt might qualify if they had some truly amazing toys that came along with them. But until someone show's up with the Eye of Autochthon in tow, this probably won't be a very relevant qualification.
4. Authority - in a way, this just a specific type of category 3: Exalts that bring large/rich/powerful nations or groups with them. Right now, this is the only way in which half or more of the Deliberative (the clear majority of the new recruits) qualify.
The argument for a veto-club seems to be based on Might: meet a certain threshold, and you automatically get one. There are at least two problems with this: it weights Might above Authority, which again diminishes the incentive for important nations that don't have crazy powerful Exalts for leaders to join up with the Deliberative. But more importantly, it raises a massive problem of consistency. Who else qualifies by this standard? Mnemon and Ejava both may, I think Zahir does, and Akuna absolutely, positively does. If we start handing out vetoes on the basis of raw, personal power, the person we least want to have one will be at the head of the line, and any number of other questionable characters (Herons, for instance) will be able to drop by any time, show that they ought to be on the Deliberative, and get the same special treatment. Either that, or the Circle just admits that there's one set of rules for its members, and one set for everybody else.
C) We don't need veto power. I'm arguing against instituting de jure difference between the Circle and all the other members of the Deliberative - I feel secure that there's no real risk involved in this, because there already exists an overwhelming set of de facto differences between the same. At eight members, we are a massive voting bloc within the group. Under the constitution (as it currently reads), a 2/3 majority vote is required to overturn the decision of a Deliberator in a matter specific to her or his portfolio. Because Ssithumi's vote doesn't count unless Dragon Kings are directly involved, if one of us makes a decision (say, Spring decides to launch an offensive) and the rest of us back it, there aren't enough votes left to block it. Granted, as the Deliberative expands obstruction will become mathematically possible, but it will remain highly unlikely. we can (and should) bring on more Exalts specifically friendly to our cause. We have, between us, enough Social and information-related charms to anticipate any sort of mass uprising in the Deliberative (which would be necessary to really oppose us) and make sure that it never gains the necessary support. Our Might does make us different - only two or maybe three of the current members are really on the same level as any given member of the Circle, and there are any number of ways that can make a difference before, during, and after a vote. We can afford the pretense of structural equity.
I would also just like to say that the more we treat the non-Circle members of the Deliberative as peers, the better the Deliberative will be able to function. Right now, the crowned heads of Creation have mostly chosen to send Exalted representatives that they think they can control easily. But if we supply the new recruits with the means to grow in power: entrusting them with responsibility, granting access to resources, supplying mentorship and training and treating them like they belong in our Committee of the Mighty, they will be able to grow in influence in their home states. That's better for us in the long run, because when we say to Kivir "we need 10,000 barrels of Fire Dust from Chiaroscuro" he can say "I'll have it for you by sundown" instead of "let me go see what the Tri-Khan thinks about that".