Actually, civ5 has an interesting take on this. Each session has two proposals put up for vote. Each civ has a number of votes based on (population?). Votes may be split between the two proposals. Votes cast may be yes, or no. One may cast all votes for or against one proposal and ignore the other proposal. Very clever. Interesting choices. Could not the Galactic council do something similar?
I have Civilization V, so I can answer this.
In the World Congress (or in late game, the United Nations), there are 2 types of sessions: the host session and the resolution voting session. During the host session, every civilization votes for who they want the host to be. The number of delegates (votes) is, for the most part, determined by how many city-state allies you have (city states represent the smaller nations in the world, and are not controlled by players). The civilization with the most votes becomes the host, and the civilization with the second-most votes becomes co-host. Tiebreakers are done randomly (not too sure how this is accomplished).
Both the host and the co-host can propose a resolution from a given list of resolutions (it's a fairly long list, and some resolutions are locked until the respective tech is researched). Examples from the list include embargoes, army taxes, world games (The Olympics), nuclear non-proliferation, etc. These affect the game indefinitely. However, a civilization could propose to repeal a standing resolution.
During the resolution voting session, every civilization can utilize their delegates to vote "yea" or "nay" for the following two proposals. You don't need to use all your delegates - for example, you could choose to abstain on both proposals.