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MOVING FORWARD:  Part 15 - Our Constitution

In the last few parts of this blog, we looked at our "Declaration of Liberty-- a document that, among other things, handed control of the platform, company and community, to the community.

Then, as a precursor to drafting our Constitution, we invested some time to discuss what went wrong in democracies around the world.

A common theme kept popping up from FanBoxer comments from India and the United States -- to the United Kingdom, Iran and Hungary -- everywhere actually.

That theme was that the world's democracies have been gradually hijacked by forces that represent only certain factions of society -- also known as "special interests".

We went deep to review what steps and historical events caused the control and power of democracies to get away from the people and their elected representatives.
 

So why did we take the time to discuss all of that?

We needed to have that knowledge top-of-mind -- so that together we can now install the right mechanisms into our Constitution...

... mechanisms that will keeping working to keep the power and control of FanBox in the hands of its members.


What are those mechanisms?

To summarize, the mechanisms that I am suggesting revolve around creating a protective wall that shields against the influence of the special interests...

... via delegation of the important policy areas to knowledgeable experts that are accountable to the people via their elected leaders...

... and, by ensuring that elected leaders are first filtered through a merit-based process:

1) that helps ensure that their primary reason for being politicians is to serve the people, and...

2) that ensures politicians possess both the skills -- and the desire and passion -- it takes to be an effective leader of the people, and...

3) that makes it exponentially more difficult for special interests to install and/or control their own puppet politicians.


By the way, thank you for staying with me through that long process.

As we discussed recently, there is such a lack of confidence in politics and politicians these days, that any discussion about politics generally has the typical citizen of the world changing the topic, closing the browser or turning off the TV.

But perhaps it was worth your time because, as you'll hopefully agree, we're now better prepared to draft our Constitution.
 

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Our "Declaration of Liberty"
spelled out the need for a Constitution, to be "drafted by the community".  

 

Immediately, three (3) questions come to mind:

 

1) What the heck is a Constitution, and why does it matter? 

2) How do we draft it?

3) What's the first step?

 

 

Let's get started.

 

   

1) What is a Constitution, and why is it needed?

Every organization of individuals, or community, needs basic rules or laws that spell out how its business or activities will be conducted.

Stated simply, a Constitution is the basic law on which all other laws are based.

In a democracy, the drafting of a Constitution is the job of the people, because the people are in control and, as a result, only they must decide what rules and principles they want government to follow.

A portion of this power is delegated by the people to the Senate and Congress (also called the Legislature) by allowing those bodies to participate in the process of amending the Constitution.

For a Constitution to be successful, it must be both rigid and flexible at the same time.

Those of us that live in the United States are accustomed to a single-document, relatively rigid Constitution.

It is rigid in that it can be formally changed only by amendment or replacement entirely.

And its flexibility is achieved through decisions made by the Senate and Congress, by the President, and by the courts, all of which introduce flexibility.

However, the U.S. method is not the only approach to a Constitution. The British Constitution consists of customs, laws dealing with the details of government, and even court decisions.

The British approach is said to be an unwritten Constitution but this is not totally accurate because some considerable parts of it are written, although not in a single document. The British Constitution is much more flexible than the Constitution of the United States.

A Constitution defines the structure (the branches) of government - establishing the legislative (The Senate and The Congress), the executive (The President), and the judicial (The Judges) branches.

The functions and actions to be performed by each branch are specified by the Constitution, as well as restrictions on their functions.

The methods of selection of the individuals to fill the positions of Senator, Congressperson, Judge, President and other roles in the government are specified.

The requirements those individuals must meet to fill those offices and the length of terms are stated.

The functions to be performed by each individual, the restrictions on them, and the relationship to other functions within the structure are given.

And finally, the approach to amending or replacing the Constitution is also provided by the Constitution itself.

In the United States, the Constitution has been amended twenty seven (27) times.

The first ten of those amendments of the U.S. Constitution are collectively known as the Bill of Rights, which was formalized for the protection of natural rights of liberty and property.

This bill is an important component of American law and symbolizes the freedom and culture of the United States of America.

Those rights are:

1.     Freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly. Also, the right to petition the government

2.     Right to bear arms (guns)

3.     Troops may not be quartered in homes in peacetime

4.     No unreasonable searches or seizures

5.     Numerous protections against court action including

·       Grand jury indictment required for serious crimes

·       You can’t be tried twice for the same crime

·       A person cannot be forced to testify against themselves

·       No loss of life, liberty, or property without due process

6.     Right to a speedy, public and fair trial

7.     Jury trials are required in civil suits where value exceeds twenty dollars

8.     No excessive bail or fines and no cruel or unusual punishments

9.     Rights not listed are not necessarily denied

10.   Powers not given clearly to the United States or denied to the states themselves are reserved for the states

 

In summary:

The Constitution’s job is to say how the government should behave.

It restricts the powers of the government, protects the rights of the people and protects minorities from the possible abuse of majority rule.

  

2) What’s the process of creating our Constitution?

My suggested approach to drafting our Constitution is to use the comments area below, for all members to state their thoughts, wishes and desires relating to the Constitution.

In the coming days, we’ll learn the names of our first Senators and Congresspersons.

One of their first tasks will be to bring together the people’s wishes into one concise document.

 

3) What's the first step?

Your first step is to put on your thinking cap and -- using the comments area below -- provide your thoughts, wishes and instructions.

Please remember that -- even though many of the Constitutions of the world have been modeled after that of the United States -- this is not the year 1787...

... and even the U.S. has arrived at a not-so-good place -- that its Constitution does not appear to be providing a way out of.

So use the very best that your vision, creativity, knowledge, intelligence and experiences have to offer! 

This is your rare opportunity to help draft a Constitution that’s even better for today and the future.

True -- we have the benefit of history – so let’s definitely not reinvent the wheel…

… but let’s also take into consideration the tools and technologies that we have at our disposal today…

... and the ones that have not yet been invented. Use your imagination.
 

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Help define the future:

What would you like our community and democracy to be based on? 

What does FanBox mean to you, and what rules and laws do you feel are important to protect those things?

How do you want to symbolize the freedom and culture of our community for generations to come?

151 Comments
:

Gems Babent

Democracy in fanbox community is vital though sometimes because of money that makes people to be greedy,tricky and misunderstanding will implied what the person to complain of fairness so choices depends on our own sensibleness.Thanks JC for giving statement which individual will meditate on it.

84 months ago
Just Jeff

A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is. When these principles are written down into a single collection or set of legal documents, those documents may be said to comprise a written constitution.

Constitutions concern different levels of organizations, from sovereign states to companies and unincorporated associations. A treaty which establishes an international organization is also its constitution, in that it would define how that organization is constituted.

Within states, whether sovereign or federated, a constitution defines the principles upon which the state is based, the procedure in which laws are made and by whom. Some constitutions, especially written constitutions, also act as limiters of state power, by establishing lines which a state's rulers cannot cross, such as fundamental rights.

The Constitution of India is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world, containing 448 articles, 12 schedules and 100 amendments, with 117,369 words in its English language version, while the United States Constitution is the shortest written constitution, at 7 articles and 27 amendments.

In most but not all modern states the constitution has supremacy over ordinary Statutory law of such states; when an official act is unconstitutional, i.e. it is not a power granted to the government by the constitution, that act is null and void.

A political organization is constitutional to the extent that it contains institutionalized mechanisms of power control for the protection of the interests and liberties of the citizenry, including those that may be in the minority.

The Latin term ultra vires describes activities of officials within an organization or polity that fall outside the constitutional or statutory authority of those officials. For example, a students' union may be prohibited as an organization from engaging in activities not concerning students; if the union becomes involved in non-student activities, these activities are considered ultra vires of the union's charter, and nobody would be compelled by the charter to follow them.

Aristotle (ca 350 BC) was one of the first in recorded history to make a formal distinction between ordinary law and constitutional law, establishing ideas of constitution and constitutionalism, and attempting to classify different forms of constitutional government. The most basic definition he used to describe a constitution in general terms was "the arrangement of the offices in a state."

Japan's Seventeen-article constitution written in 604, reportedly by Prince Shōtoku, is an early example of a constitution in Asian political history. Influenced by Buddhist teachings, the document focuses more on social morality than institutions of government per se and remains a notable early attempt at a government constitution.

Constitutions usually explicitly divide power between various branches of government. The standard model, described by the Baron de Montesquieu, involves three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. Some constitutions include additional branches, such as an auditory branch. Constitutions vary extensively as to the degree of separation of powers between these branches.

In presidential and semi-presidential systems of government, department secretaries/ministers are accountable to the president, who has patronage powers to appoint and dismiss ministers. The president is accountable to the people in an election.

IT Law is a set of legal enactments, currently in existence in several countries, which governs the digital dissemination of both (digitalized) information and software itself (free and open-source software). IT Law covers mainly the digital information (including information security and electronic commerce) aspects.

84 months ago
Johnny Cash

Interesting stuff, Jeff. You seems to have a knack for Constitutional law and history.

84 months ago
Abdul Ali

thanks for sharing
great post

84 months ago
Tivadar Balázs

I just want to express my appreciation for some of the valuable comments here. I am not very keen on writing law codes, so I am happy that there are others that can do this...

84 months ago
Ashok Bagaria

I suggest that All Members of this on line Country should have a Right of Membership in our Constitution Like as people has right of Nationality by Birth in world.

84 months ago
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