Apr 2, 17 / Tau 08, 01 00:25 UTC

Re: Discussion for the Constitution Table of Contents  

From what I am seeing the constitution will be created by decree, just like everything until now. I prefer that a constitutional collegiate be formed for the sole purpose of creating the constitution. There are hundreds of interested Asgardians representing a good part of the citizens of Asgardia. Let it be a popular constitution and not centrally. But for this to happen the government must learn to delegate. It's a difficult but necessary thing in a democracy. A governmental decree creating the constituent commission and opening registrations for interested participants. In the same decree giving deadlines and promising to fulfill the constitution that was created by the assembly.

Apr 2, 17 / Tau 08, 01 05:17 UTC

When citizen security is up discuss what citizens may have and carry. Weapons, non lethal but letting our citizens go without even a little defense? For something like a non lethal gun I'd recommend a strict test which means not many would have non lethal guns but to ensure some people could carry teasers and easy deploy batons, why is it a big deal with some self defense? And also lets not forget we should have DNArecords for a id so it don't match, your not real in asgardia citizen id law

Apr 2, 17 / Tau 08, 01 08:52 UTC

It is a bit hard to comment on a table of contents. I'm sure the table of contents of the Bible looks harmless enough. The devil will literally be in the detail.

Many members have put in a lot of time and effort in filling in the blanks, but I fear it may have been a waste of their time. Given the timetable that is being worked to, I would not be surprised if the bulk (if not, all) of the draft constitution has already been written. I just hope that the consultation process is such so that all the valuable contributions made here can be at least considered.

Apr 2, 17 / Tau 08, 01 09:36 UTC

It is wonderful to see our Constitution begin to take shape. I can't comment on a table of contents,  I look forward to the document it's self. That is when the real scrutiny will start. Look sharp Asgardians, this is 100% of our score. The document can be translated using google translate. Let's refrain from trying to rewrite the document until we see it. We must be very careful now, study, think, take the best we have from all our resources. Best wishes on our coming adventure!

  Last edited by:  David Houlton (Asgardian)  on Apr 2, 17 / Tau 08, 01 09:52 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

Apr 2, 17 / Tau 08, 01 12:16 UTC

Haha beautiful a new editor - that tricked me :-D

Had to go through and remove all my HTML.  Dumb twit I am, I should have checked the page before writing in my own editor :-D


OK - sorry I took so long folks.

I have studied the following so I can make comments which hopefully reflect the intent of the founders,

contributors ideas and common sense:

- All current documentation available on this site

- @guzlomi's submition

- @yovy's thoughts

- @guzlomi's responses

- everyone else's short comments on this forum

- all our comments on the "declaration of unity" forum

- some of the comments made in the old facebook forums on constitutional ideas

- a stack of my business and legal stuff concerning constitution of state and organisations

- some interesting thoughts about constitution writing from the general web

My purpose is to ensure I am trying to follow the thought process of the founders and originators of this document and to ensure we are consistent with our suggestions. Especially concerning the declaration of unity as we have been told catagorically that acceptance of these 2 documents is to become the fundamental step towards full citizenship of Asgardia.

Firstly, I think that it is important that (as @yovy mentioned) we comment clearly on the "Table of contents" as the first step.  I read your response @guzlomi saying you took your lead from the table of contents however your personal feeling is that some of the articles need not be included. I'm not sure I agree with that approach as we have been asked primarily for feedback on the Table of Contents.  However you have done an aweful lot of work on the content which I feel will be a brilliant start if the founders have nothing yet.

I just feel that if we are to comment on this document properly then we need to specify what we think is needed and not needed before we skip to the actual content (which @guzlomi has done well with).

On that basis here (in a little more detail than my first post) are my thoughts. I'll stick primarily to the "Table of Contents" itself and come back with another post regarding the detailed content of the Constitution.

Preamble

Constitutional preamble usually states the reasons or purpose for the creation of the state/nation/organisation.  However these will be covered in Chapter 1 so the preamble should be a short statement of the form "We the citizens of this space nation, in order to promote the goals stated herein, do establish and adopt this Constitution for the government of our nation."

A short statement like this is unpretencious and is easily understood.  It does not need to enumerate anything as this will be done in the content of the document.

Article 1

This is a no brainer and is an absolute necessity in any constitution.

Article 2

I don't really think this is necessary for 2 reasons:

i) The constitution is a document for citizens to read, understand and accept. The document should be written with terminology that people would understand and be able to apply to everyday life. A constitution is not a liturny of "legalese", it should be a clear and concise explaination of the concepts and structure of the society a citizen is to live within.

ii) The details of the enactment of the constitution in every day life is usually contained in the legislative documents.  These are where terms and definitions should be explained.

Article 3

In a national constitution it is an absolute necessity that a state proclaim it's sovereignty and independence. I think @guzlomi has covered it well with this simple statement:  "The space nation of Asgardia is a free, independent, sovereign and democratic state according to international law."

However I will say that international law does not, in the first instance, recognise the creation of a new and free state. There are a number of hoops to jump through and one of them is that you cannot just secede and/or cause insurection or cause citizens of another state to go against their constituted government. So maybe it is better to leave international law out of this statement to avoid debate and actino being taken against the proclaiming of the state.

Article 4

The mission is necessary and should clearly define the goals/purpose of the Asgardian state.  These are clearly laid out in the original founding statement and in the declaration of unity:

From the "Concept" document:

(1) Peacful use of space

(2) Protect the Earth from dangers emanating from space

(3) Create a demilitarized and free scientific base of knowledge in space

Expanding on these goals with the following processes:

- Encourage, create and promote acceptable and fair space law

- Promote access to space for humankind

- Promote wide participation by all peoples in this endeavour

- Endeavour to prevent Earth political conflicts moving into space

From the "Declaration of Unity":

(1) Ensure peace in space

(2) Ensure the protection of planet Earth and the entire humankind from outer space threats

(3) Ensure equal opportunities in space for all Asgardians living on Earth, regardless of geographic, financial, technological and other features of the countries of their earthly citizenship

For the sake of correctness I have used the origrinal documents for these excerpts rather than any suggested updates

** CONTINUED **

Apr 2, 17 / Tau 08, 01 12:25 UTC

Article 5

I feel this article is not necessary in the constitution for 2 reasons:

i) The items are covered in the "Declaration of Unity" which must be accepted before a potential citizen becomes a full citizen.

ii) A constitution is a document describing the goals, structure and governance of a society conceptual ideals outside of this are better handled by a broad statement of goals and then defined in other statements such as the Declaration of Unity or a national motto. For example One Humanity - One Unity

Articles 6-8

These are necessary statements describing what is a citizen of Asgardia, their allowable locations and how that affects them and their rights, and a statement of rights of citizens and how those rights are handled.

All "rights" should be specified as before the law or state and basic rights should be notated simply as those recognised by specific human treaties (such as the UN statement of basic human rights).  There is no need to enumerate a list of specific rights as this will always leave out some that should be in or put in some that later need to be changed.

Article 9

The wording here is incorrect and comes from historical texts on incorporation of clubs and organisations.

In this instance the constitution is dealing with individual's lives and freedoms so obligations is not the correct word.  The wording should be "The duty of an Asgaridan citizen" and should only contain a broad statement along the lines of It is the duty of every Asgardian citizen to protect and support the nation of Asgardia, the constitution and the rule of law as defined in the legislative documents.  It is further the duty of every Asgardian citizen to strive for unity of purpose in achieving the goals of the Asgardian nation.

Obviously there will be better wording than that, however the principles are all that is needed here as further enumeration of points only leads to people feeling subjected to governmental and/or political pressure on their conscience.

Article 10

This should be contained very precisely in Article 8 where the rights of citizens are explained.

Article 11

I don't think this should be a part of the constitution for a number of reasons:

i) Any codification of humans as a resource is bound to be taken out of context and possibly abused later.  Further the definition may of necessity change over the years.

ii) It is not necessary to define what people can and can't do with human resources unless you are outlawing slavery on principle.  As we probably all agree on slavery and it is covered in human rights sections of UN resolutions there is probably no need to mention it.

iii) Definitions, allocations and usages of human resource is a function of the legislative system. Definitions for public service positions are held in other articles of the constitution so there is no need to mention it here.

Article 12-15

These are needed in any state constitution.  However once again, they should be kept brief and conceptually protecting the rights in these areas for individual and state. 3 areas bear further explanation:

i) Natural Resources - It needs to be defined how the state views the retrieval/mining/gathering, exploitation and usage of natural resources. This needs to be in line with the desire expressed by the good doctor to build a body of "universal space law" which is fair and useful to everyone.

ii) Financial Resources - This definition will basically define the way Asgardia as a nation views monetary policy. A lot of thought needs to go into what the eventual basis for money within Asgardia society will be. There is a susceptibility to following after the current Earthly schema (which is highly political and divisive) even though the statement is made that Asgardia will not be following after the current way of political thinking (ie. lobbying for your own benefit without regard for others).

I suggest that this be kept very clearly to the broad rules by which the governmental structure will handle money on behalf of Asgardia.

iii) Property - It should be decided how the state handles property. Remember that currently ONLY a state owns property in space, regardless of which organisation sent it there. Which means that all property in space will belong to Asgardia (forget the bit I'm leaving out concerning the country of origin of launch currently having the legal obligation and liability for it), therefore it is not sensible to talk about individuals buying some forms of property (notably what might be called "real estate") within Asgardia.

Article 16-20

These articles are necessary and should define clearly the form of government and justice system which is being adopted.  In article 20 I think it is enough to mention the concept of the state caring for the citizens in terms of health, education and opportunity.  If any national constitution is to be recognised internationally there must also be a statement of acceptance of liability to other nations for return of Asgardian citizens in emergency etc.

Article 21-24

These articles are probably out of context.

Article 21 should possibly be included in chapter II as this area deals with definitions of citizens and their rights as well as the states duty towards it's citizens.

Not sure where Article 23 should go as it is more an item which needs to be dealt with by resolutions and legislature external to the Constitution. My meaning is the Protection of Earth is not a national security matter and it is not part of the governing structure of the state's daily life.  It is an initiative borne out of part of the mission statement.

Artcle 22 & 24 should be definitions only of the state's liability to security of it's citizens and itself as an entity.

Articles 25-30

These are mandatory articles for any nation proclaiming sovereignty and looking for recognition from other nations or organisations.

However, I am not sure that Article 26 holds any place in a constitution as it is not really a necessity to "swear allegiance" (if you will allow such an archaic phrase) to using a specific language.  Having said that (as, I think, @yovy submitted) it should be noted in the articles of legislation that all formal and legal documents and proceedings will be conducted in a specific language to ensure that there be no misunderstandings on any level.  It would not hurt (as most nations do) to translate such documents into other languages as well to improve comprehension.

I believe voting day will hold the keys to the actual symbols etc. Article 25 is possibly not necessary in a constitution for the same reasons as language.  They are just symbols so people can recognize the state not things that actually define and govern the society.

Similarly Article 27 is not necessary unless the state is claiming something such as geographical or spacial positioning.  The capital location/position/status can and should be decided by resolution based on factors at the time - as these could change (my guess is WILL change).

** CONTINUED **

  Last edited by:  Paul Bellamy (Asgardian)  on Apr 2, 17 / Tau 08, 01 12:34 UTC, Total number of edits: 2 times
Reason: dumb bloke can't spell :-)

Apr 2, 17 / Tau 08, 01 12:25 UTC

Articles 31-36

Obviously must be defined.

I am loathe to comment on these items here because everyone has a different opinion and I think by "everyone" I also mean the founders of Asgardia.  I will suggest some options in a later post. But please bear in mind that they will be suggestions only for us to mentally debate as the only clue the founders have given us is that Chapter IV uses the word "democracy" and the wording in the Declaration of Unity says they don't want the political debacle we have on Earth currently.

Article 37-38

These must be included and a ratification system MUST be defined for how changes are to be made.

If Asgardia is to be any sort of democracy then the ratification system MUST include the citizens voting in some manner.

Articles 39-40

This is a tricky area which probably should be a section of the constitution which is a throw away.

What I mean is that it deals with how Asgardia will come into being and the stages it must take to becoming a fully recognised and functioning state.  The transitional provisions will obviously become obsolete after the state of Asgardia is fully functional.  Therefore the transitional provisions are redundant at that time so should not be part of a constitution that people are to adopt to become citizens.  The final provisions should only be there to ensure the establishment of chapters VI and VII so should also not be a part of the constitution that people adopt to become a citizen of Asgardia.

I am suggesting that these should be addendums to be discarded after certain conditions are met and certain Articles are fully in place.  There should also be a time limit on these provisions being met. I feel this to be obvious. Let me give an example:

One of the conditions is going to have to be that the founders have complete guiding power and probably veto at the startup stage.  This is a necessary provision as it is their initiative, knowledge, money and liability in the first place.  However if the state is to continue and become internationally recognised this situation can't be continued indefinitely.  There must be a timeframe for changes to be implemented and the Constitution to come into full power.

Ergo, they should not be in the constitution, rather they should be addendums to be discarded when they have reached maturity.


As I said above I will post some of my opinions on content, governing and financial structure contained within the constitution in a later post.

I hope this is understandable and helpful.


  Last edited by:  Paul Bellamy (Asgardian)  on Apr 2, 17 / Tau 08, 01 13:12 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

Apr 2, 17 / Tau 08, 01 14:47 UTC

What is important is to guarantee equality, whether it be a president or a worker, we must guarantee the same rights and duties for all.

Apr 2, 17 / Tau 08, 01 15:52 UTC

I agree thear everyone has a important role and are living beings, every one deserves respect.

Apr 2, 17 / Tau 08, 01 16:44 UTC

@boonejohn97

Maybe people would believe you more if you didn't spout insults at others constantly.

Examples I have seen in your previous posts include: 

**Because all I see is shit flying out of your mouth, even if you did something your the dangerous person then with nerve gas and all.

**Okay listen the shut fuck up eyeR

**No stop trying to act as if your the super intelligent being, your not.

**I don't want to be killed in my sleep, trying live a normal life, and defiantly not because some dumbass like yourself think weapons are unneeded maybe not all but some are required. Now shut the hell up and stop acting like you know best, we dont but we want to make sure are safe before anything happens. We admit it.

**A discard actually will not cause any damage unless we are near air locks, air compressors, and flammable areas, may I ask what you know about a discharge? Because you don't seem to know shit.

**If your so smart, why do you sound so stupid. I've seen your other post on non military subjects and yet that you have good point, when it comes to military, you dont know jack shit

**You sound like an A+ grade idiot when you don't consider the safety of others.


Apr 2, 17 / Tau 08, 01 19:29 UTC

+1 bdaonion. I nealy choked on my breakfast when I read his post :).

Apr 3, 17 / Tau 09, 01 04:56 UTC

@bigred

"What needs to be guarded against is not the protection of the "whistleblower". The guarding should be against the ability of those entrusted with the responsibility of public service to corrupt or usurp the workings of the tools of the constitution. It is to this end that we need to work to define a governmental structure with transparent and easily enacted checks on power."

Ok. Agree.  But how is it working for Snowden?  Not very well, I'm afraid -- which is the reason why I bring it up.

I wish I had a more sophisticated argument, but it is my understanding that the check and balances in the US have served very little. Maybe the US doesn't have the best check-and-balance system in place, I really don't know.  Short of a presidential pardon, Snowden = dead-man-walking, and this speaks to the system's lack of effectiveness in this regard.

 I am hoping for a more explicit standing on this issue as far as the law of the (space) land (<--oxymoron, anyone?) goes, just like the guaranteed right to freedom of the press should be made explicit.

Maybe we shouldn't call it "whistleblower" protection for the reasons you bring up.

"For instance USA has a very good statement in their most famous document which basically says it is the responsibility of all proper citizens to rise up and throw off the yoke of corrupt government using their constitutional tools. However those tools and basic right held in their "bill of rights" appears to have been usurped to the point that those with elite positions seem to be not answerable to any laws."

How does one go about protecting against such usurpations in the future?  Apparently, no system is infallible. I wish I could at least offer some good speculation but, alas, I'm afraid I am a total ignorant in these matters.



Apr 3, 17 / Tau 09, 01 05:51 UTC

@guzlomi thank you very much for your encouragement.

So now that I can dissect your feedback let me get right into it:

<Civil rights are different from human rights. They are created and given by the state to its citizens, they’re not natural or innate like the second ones> Understood. Thanks for the clarification. 

I don’t think we should include censorship in the constitution. Any matter of censorship should be left to legislation. This is just too dangerous a concept to be codified in the constitution <I don’t agree. Laws can be changed too easily and increase censorship. Any limitation to human or civil rights must be established in the Constitution to be an exception and difficult to change. It happens in Spanish Constitution (mine), for example> I think that codifying "censorship" within the constitution itself is very dangerous. I think the constitution should be addressing what the government cannot do, rather than what the people cannot do.  After all, one of the basic tenets is that Asgardia will be a "free and unrestricted society." In that spirit, we should work on limiting the government's overreach and making it very difficult for said government to undermine freedom of speech. If the powers-that-be feel that censorship is necessary in order to secure national security or what-have-you, let the burden of proof be on them and make them work really hard for their "censorship."

Let defense to the state itself and simply add a clause in regards to protection and the formation of a militia. <Go for it and reword it, and let’s see more feedback> OK, I borrowed this from my constitution, please feel free to correct:  The (insert branch here) shall have Power *** To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Nation, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions. The (insert branch here) shall have Power *** To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the Asgardian Nation (or State), reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by (insert branch here).

^that is the best I can come up with for I am not very well verse in legal terms.  I just copied the US constitution.  If anyone can help simplify this, I would greatly appreciate it because to me it feels quite cumbersome.

<— I need to understand “admissibility of exclusive commercial and trade privileges for a specified period of time and territory.” Is this legalese for “monopoly protected by the state”? <yes, I was thinking about mining concessions to private enterprises that will pay the state for their mining or energy rights. Maybe needs some rewording>

I feel apprehensive about monopolies, especially ones protected by the government. It reminds me too well of certain political powers during certain cold wars.  I think that because the entry barrier into space mining is already very high, there will be very few people competing, but because we are trying to ensure access to space for all humankind, those who could start businesses in space mining should be allowed to.  Competition is great for innovation so all of those people who have the means to should be allowed to enter the industry with no more restrictions than those imposed by their own nations and international space law.

And any dividends and gains should be shared among Asgardians only since they are the ones subject to Asgardian laws and responsibilities <Earth states could be more favorable to us if they and their peoples get also a fair share of this spacial mining benefits…mining diplomacy... ;) > You know, I was listening to scientist Michio Kaku just today, talking about how technology creates wealth and how scientists create things and gift them to humanity.  You are most likely right about this and I find my opinion is changing on the matter.  Maybe Asgardia could create such wealth for humanity that we could finally be able to advance socially.

Article 18. Sundays and holidays recognized by the State shall be observed as public days of rest, without prejudice to the legal provisions governing rest on Sundays and holidays. I find this very strange, why Sunday specifically? <Because it’s the main non working day around the world, so why change this? It could be Friday or Saturday, of course> So, if I want to work on Sunday and I go ahead and actually work, I am breaking the law? <No, it’s not forbidden to work if you want, it’s to regulate a resting day for workers> This is too intrusive and also based on religious dogma.  Ex. Jewish people rest on Saturday-ish. I think this is better left to culture as it develops.

<Do you really want to make everybody to study a minoritarian language?> Yes, I really do.  But as you said, it is most practical to simply have no official language. All that I say is that if one is to proclaim no official language, then we should not mention any language at all because by mentioning one language over any other one is creating a de facto "official" language unintentionally.

<Forever. The Parliament is integrated by all the +18 years-old people permanently assembled to discuss and vote about anything…No terms. Until death.> Every time I think of someone holding a position of power "forever," I feel shivers down my spine.  I think that the least comfortable people are in their positions of power, the more leverage the people of a nation have against those in power.

Thank you, again, for all your hard work and clarifications.

  Last edited by:  Yoevelyn Rodriguez (Asgardian, Comm Assistant)  on Apr 3, 17 / Tau 09, 01 08:56 UTC, Total number of edits: 2 times
Reason: Prove vs proof. Whatdayaknow!

Apr 3, 17 / Tau 09, 01 06:19 UTC

@Yovy - yes a big difficulty that.

you are correct that it is difficult to legislate (or constitute) against human nature gone over to "the dark side". Personally I think that is a natural problem which will occur whenever people are allowed to make a career out of positions of power.  When everyone has to "muck in" and do the dirty work occasionally and the power positions are rotated outside of their control, people tend to be somewhat more careful when thinking of taking advantage of others.  Problems also occur when people are given privilege simply because they are in that position of power.

After all the head of a democratic nation is no more special than any other person according to democratic and equality principles.  I don't wish this on anyone, however if a politician were to be knocked off then surely the democratic process carries on and the next person takes over?

When I look at it like that I can see what the good doctor might be feeling when he pens "....there is no place for politics in Asgardia....".

This is all a bit philosophical however it is probably relevant to the content of the constitution.

How to word the protections or checks and balances? Well I'm probably equally as poorly equipped as yourself. I have some suggestions for political structure however I also know the arguments people will bring up to counter my suggestions so I become somewhat hamstrung when writing.  I'd love to pick apart these thoughts and issues outside of this forum so it doesn't meddle with the forum discussion line.  If you like I have a public email address which you can contact me on to keep your stuff private if you like (p_bellamy at hotmail dot com).

Apr 3, 17 / Tau 09, 01 07:53 UTC

Hi
Study the provisions of the constitution generally good but the details need to be explained and described.
I am impatiently waiting for the state to put its expertise at the disposal of the nation Asgardia .