May 26, 17 / Can 06, 01 14:46 UTC

Re: Discussion of the draft Constitution  

I agree with Elanexus regarding the "morality" principle, i already stated this could not work inside the constitutional bloc. Same thing, "disrespect" is dangerous inside a constitution. And Gor as a currency ? I think we touched the bottom. 

I don't know who is selecting the text for the constitution draft. But if i don't find any of Elanexus proposals nor any of my own taken into consideration, not only i'm out, but i'll label this project as undemocratic. 

May 26, 17 / Can 06, 01 16:27 UTC

To quote Cheyenne Voss:

"Hey all:) I've been giving the constitution a lot of t hought, and thought I'd ask-
Does anyone else here think that "less is more"?

I ask because in the 33 pages of this document, the litany of equality ("....based on race, gender, religion, nationality, etc) is used probably 10 different times, but failed to expressly forbid discrimination based on physical or mental ability. It would be a lot more prudent to say, ONCE, that one of the supreme values of Asgardia is "the equal dignity of all humans, without exception."

I ask because, though it's mentioned multiple times in the document, the procedure for "REFERENDUM" and it's relevance to the normal function of the government are completely neglected. In one instance it is referred to as a sort of public voing system (in regards to the adoption of this constitution) and in others it is referred to as a political action that can be initiated by both the government and private citizens.

I ask because there are a multitude of documents that the constitution provides legal levity for (Referendum, Decrees, Acts, Etc) but does not provide for an incidence where one document may directly conflict with another. Only the Constitution supercedes other legal documents- making it doubly important that the Constitution is as concise as possible.

I ask because, though this document is supposed to supercede all other law, only one sentence is provided on the process by which the constitution is ammended, using that very ambiguously defined word "referendum".

I ask because, though the constitution is the supreme authority on our government and how it will work, it delegates its authority to "the law." If a sentence says "by the law" and is not referring to the laws of international treatise or foreign residence, it doesn't belong in the constitution. Period. That's a constitutional crisis waiting to happen.

I ask because whomever authored this document managed to forget to outline the procedure by which Parliament actually adopts laws. You might assume it a forgone conclusion, but I would really like the Constitution to state "majority vote", "unanimous vote," "coin toss," .....It's kind of important we know the procedure being used before we vote on it.

In short, the longer a legal document is, the more likely it is to be seriously flawed. There are a lot of loopholes and oversights, and honestly I hope someone on the forum is also arguing a "less is more" approach for the next draft."

... "Cheyenne Voss ... I'm in the habit of assuming the best of intentions- particularly where asgardia is concerned. I Certainly have never built a country from the ground up, though from the little bit I did do here at the beginning I can tell you that it's an incredibly amount of work!
I also assume that the intentions behind this constitution were fairly well intentioned because there are a number of failsafe measures to prevent absolute despotism. For example, the Head of State can be accused of treason or dismissed on the grounds of failing health or gross violation of the supreme values of Asgardia. Also, the inclusion of a sort of council of values, or constitutional oversight committee, is really promising. I would like a lot of "fat" cut from the document, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's mostly air."

May 26, 17 / Can 06, 01 16:51 UTC

There were a few separate points in the first draft I found very troubling:

- The use of a get-out-of-jail-free term for "restricting" citizens rights, whilst abdicating any prison leaves me troubled. How far can these restrictions go? Where would be people be detained, even if temporarily, in the case of a violation of the law?

- The somewhat immediacy of citizen taxes whilst also seizing all earnings from business seems inappropriate in the short term. I myself am unable to fund any additional outgoings at the present time. With the threat of legal action, this becomes very worrisome.

- The guaranteeing of intellectual property implies similar standards to what exist in current setups. The distancing of these limitations was one of the main reasons for my signing up for Asgardian citizenship. Too many variations on how to connect a key to a keyboard exist as it is. People die because scientists wait for journals to publish their findings. Drug companies exploit essential medicines for extortionate prices. All because of intellectual property.

- The prohibition of potentially harmful information seems intentionally vague. This loophole could be exploited in much the same way as the Chinese firewall  "protects" its citizens from "harmful" information. Educational purposes (e.g. regarding the political climate) would also be banned by these rules. The filtering of information is just as dangerous as allowing a fully-fledged dictatorship.

- Robotics in war is akin to allowing nuclear weaponry, chemical warfare, and biological warfare. There have even been recent petitions to the UN to outright ban its usage before it becomes overly problematic. Back in the cold war, there were fears (and movies made around) of some general going rogue and ordering the first strike. With robotics, this nightmare becomes even more plausible as there are no "middle-men" to use their own consciences. This is not a risk I wish to even have a chance of happening.

- The burning of a flag is a means of protest, not a reason for punishment. Sure, we can have pride in Asgardia. That pride has to be taken with humility though, and stating that humility will not be tolerated can lead to dangerous places.

- The head of state being able to select their own judges is akin to the mafia doing the same thing. If a corrupt individual at the top so wished it, they could disrupt investigations and effectively bribe their way into remaining in power.

- Only allowing persons of older age into positions of power can easily misrepresent the people of younger generations. It is far easier for an older person to want things to be "how they used to be", whereas younger persons have no memory of this and may look forwards instead. Whereas the older persons bring experience to the table, younger persons bring ignorance. There are a lot of negative connotations about ignorance, but without it, questions aren't asked! Assumptions aren't challenged. Bad decisions are made. The mixture between the old and the new is important.

- The get-out clause for unlimited terms up to the age of 70 is concerning.

As things stand, I will be voting NO for this constitution. I concur with other sentiments regarding the timescales and importance of this document. Cheyenne Voss is also right in stating that the Constitution shouldn't nearly be this long. There are some amazing ideas in here, which could make for an excellent foundation. But as it stands it also contains gaping holes which can, indeed, turn this into a monarchic toy.


May 26, 17 / Can 06, 01 17:18 UTC

There are at least five issues that have been raised, that are obviously unacceptable (monarchy, poor checks-and-balances, unequal power distribution, corporation placing laws over 180k people, taxation). And within 10 days, these issues have captured the attention of the community.  However, even if AIRC addresses those issues by no means should AIRC have the right to claim that they have addressed all the concerns of the community.  The community was only given 10 days to digest the document, and has NOT been given enough time to consider the potentially very significant implications of other portions of the document.  

May 26, 17 / Can 06, 01 17:23 UTC

To quote Montesquieu, Spirit of the Laws (1748), Book III.
Of the Principles of the Three Kinds of Government:

"2. Of the Principle of different Governments. I have already observed that it is the nature of a republican government that either the collective body of the people, or particular families, should be possessed of the supreme power; of a monarchy, that the prince should have this power, but in the execution of it should be directed by established laws; of a despotic government, that a single person should rule according to his own will and caprice. ...

3. Of the Principle of Democracy. There is no great share of probity necessary to support a monarchical or despotic government. The force of laws in one, and the prince's arm in the other, are sufficient to direct and maintain the whole. But in a popular state, one spring more is necessary, namely, virtue.
What I have here advanced is confirmed by the unanimous testimony of historians, and is extremely agreeable to the nature of things. For it is clear that in a monarchy, where he who commands the execution of the laws generally thinks himself above them, there is less need of virtue than in a popular government, where the person entrusted with the execution of the laws is sensible of his being subject to their direction.

Clear is it also that a monarch who, through bad advice or indolence, ceases to enforce the execution of the laws, may easily repair the evil; he has only to follow other advice; or to shake off this indolence. But when, in a popular government, there is a suspension of the laws, as this can proceed only from the corruption of the republic, the state is certainly undone."

The above text explains why monarchies are considered inferior to democracies. You can see these issues present in the current draft constitution: "in a monarchy, where he who commands the execution of the laws generally thinks himself above them" => Article 32. 11. "The Head of State enjoys immunity and is granted a lifetime guarantee of personal safety and the safety of his/her property a er leaving the role."

This draft constitution really is a monarchy, with all its well-known failings. We deserve better.

May 26, 17 / Can 06, 01 17:24 UTC

To quote Montesquieu, Spirit of the Laws. Book XI. Of the Laws Which Establish Political Liberty, with Regard to the Constitution

"4. ... Democratic and aristocratic states are not in their own nature free. Political liberty is to be found only in moderate governments; and even in these it is not always found. It is there only when there is no abuse of power. But constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it, and to carry his authority as far as it will go. Is it not strange, though true, to say that virtue itself has need of limits?

To prevent this abuse, it is necessary from the very nature of things that power should be a check to power. A government may be so constituted, as no man shall be compelled to do things to which the law does not oblige him, nor forced to abstain from things which the law permits."
...

My point is that:  "constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it, and to carry his authority as far as it will go." -> this is why i cannot accept the powers granted to the head of state in the draft constitution.

May 26, 17 / Can 06, 01 23:18 UTC

@BohZao (/en/forum/member/profile/396697/) (Asgardian) on 26 May 2017, 11:58 a.m.
<<Man all the discussion with the Lena Answers is gone!!!>> 

I think it has never been in this forum. I have been reading the posts since the beginning and the only message I have ever seen from Lena is the very first one, starting the discussion. Maybe Lena's comments appeared just on Facebook.

I would suggest this to be corrected. I have detected, in many posts, some amount of frustration of never having answers or feed back from the core team of project Asgardia.

Also, I would really like to know if the vote on June 18 will be on the current draft of the Constitution or on some modified text to come. 

I have looked at Lore Zyra's proposal and I prefer it to the original draft. Now, should the discussion be on this new draft or on the old one?



May 27, 17 / Can 07, 01 01:12 UTC

@Andre Ratel(Asgardian) on 26 May 2017, 11:18 p.m.

I have looked at Lore Zyra's proposal and I prefer it to the original draft. Now, should the discussion be on this new draft or on the old one?

I invite you and everyone to discuss the points of my draft here:  Which Constitution would you want, if you had to choose today?

However, as Jason Rainbow mentions, this thread should focus on the draft presented by Asgardia.Space website.

  Last edited by:  Richie Bartlett (Asgardian)  on May 27, 17 / Can 07, 01 01:12 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

May 27, 17 / Can 07, 01 01:15 UTC

@Andre Ratel
Translating what good Jason can't write here, we can post even a whole new Divine Comedy in a day, here, but discussions (and votations) will be about the current (so called) "draft": read it well as, if you'll vote "yes", that will be your Constitution.

@Jason Rainbow
Ahhh... Jason... Jason... are you so sure we, the users, don't know the meaning of "official thread"? (I'm not going further, so to avoid being caught OT... just thinking someone of us is being a little naive, not necessarily you)

@LoreZyra
"this thread" is the one and only (allowed) thread on "Constitution" topic: look at what happened. ;-)

  Last edited by:  Luca Coianiz (Asgardian)  on May 27, 17 / Can 07, 01 01:17 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time
Reason: blablabla

May 27, 17 / Can 07, 01 01:22 UTC

@Jason Rainbow

While I understand where you're coming from about the official draft, I think it's clear from all of the responses in this forum that the "official" draft is in no state to be voted on, much less considered as a valid attempt at a constitution for a new state. 

I would recommend we redirect the efforts of those of us citizens who are actively participating towards petitioning the consideration of the draft put together by @LoreZyra and co, or a similarly well put together document. 

Just my two cents, 

BloodyClean 

May 27, 17 / Can 07, 01 03:45 UTC

@Jason Rainbow

<<I've been trying to find the conversation that took place with Dr. De Winne on Facebook for you but have only been able to find any ( with the exception of this one>>

Thanks for the effort. Surprisingly, I have been able to access the content of the Web page, although .I do not have a Facebook account. When, a few days ago, I tried the feedback link on the page
     https://asgardia.space/en/page/chronicles/Asgardia-Constitution-Draft
I got an obtrusive pop-op with the message "To see more from Asgardia on Facebook, log in or create an account.".  

<<that does not really answer any questions>>

I agree. No justification for any of the contentious points of the draft Constitution.

<<he topic of discussion should still focus on the "official" draft.>> 

Thank you for the precision.

-=*=- 

@LoreZyra 

<<I invite you and everyone to discuss the points of my draft here [...]>> 

I will. Thank you. Is it possible to obtain your full text in pdf form? I have right-clicked and downloaded your AsgardiaConstitutionProposal.txt file and it is full of formatting commands. I have also tried just clicking on the link. The screen I get is free form HTML commands but I need to scroll right and left to be able to read the long lines. If producing a pdf file is too much of a problem, please do not waste time with this. I will then just return to your posts and make pdf captures of the screens.

-=*=-

@Elwe Thor 

<<discussions (and votations) will be about the current (so called) "draft">>

Not having seen any comments or replies by members of the core team does lead to the impression that they are not following what is being said here. Some justifications for a Constitutional Monarchy would have been nice.


  Last edited by:  Andre Ratel (Asgardian)  on May 27, 17 / Can 07, 01 03:52 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

May 27, 17 / Can 07, 01 04:00 UTC

@Andre Ratel on 27 May 2017, 3:45 a.m.

I prefer not to deal with changing to other formats as TXT format is universal. However, I do have a link to show it in raw text without any HTML. (I suspect your browser is not correctly handling the URI properly.)

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lorezyra/Asgardia.Government/master/Asgardia.Constitution.Proposal.txt 

Let me know if this is better for you?

May 27, 17 / Can 07, 01 04:10 UTC

Actually, further to my previous comments, would it be better (admitidly not easier) to vote almost line by line of the constitution with the options of 'yes' 'no, please edit because ___' and 'no, please remove' 

This would give us the real time needed to perfect and understand what we are voting for and allow us to focus piece by piece on what the people actually want.

May 27, 17 / Can 07, 01 04:22 UTC

OK. Here are all my comments on the official draft. I tried to post this text last weekend but the server refused it because I exceeded the maximum amount of characters. I am trying here to abridge it a bit. Sorry for the repetitions with my earlier posts.

Chapter 1 , p. 4
     "based on the birthright of Man in the universe"  
replaced by something less human-centric such as
     "based on the birthright of all sentient life in the universe"  
The Universe is quite a big place and mankind is probably not the most intelligent species habiting it. So I would suggest a little more modesty. I consider it the birthright of all sentient being to try to survive, explore the environment, learn from experience and evolve in the direction of its choice.

Chapter 1, p. 4
     "3. Any resident of Earth can become a citizen of Asgardia, as long as he assents in the [...]"
replaced by
     "as long as he or she {...}"

Chapter 1, p. 4
     "To ensure the protection of planet Earth and the entire humankind (from outer space threats);"
replaced by
    "the protection of planet Earth and all its life forms"

Chapter 2, Article 2, p. 5
     "Asgardia is a Constitutional Monarchy"
Why a monarchy? A monarchy is a relic of medieval feodalism, when the value of a person depended on the rank and status of the parents. I suggest Constitutional Monarchy be replaced by Constitutional Meritocracy (or Democratic Meritocracy) which is, in my view, what is being described in Article 32, Paragraphs 5 and 8 and also in Article 33, Paragraph 4.

Chapter 2, Article 4, Paragraph 4b  
     "b) protection of Earth and all of humanity from Space-originating threats;"
I would prefer "protection of planet Earth and all its inhabitants".

Chapter 3, Article 6, Paragraph 2
     "2. Space citizenship of Asgardia is a special type of citizenship and does not constitute dual or second citizenship for the purposes of Earth nation citizenship. A citizen
          of an Earth nation becoming a space citizen does not confer multiple citizenship status unless otherwise stipulated by an international treaty to which Asgardia is a
          party."
As I understand this, an Asgardian citizen will only acquire double (or multiple) citizenship when Asgardia is recognized as a state in an international treaty. Am I correct on this?

Chapter 3, Article 9, Paragraph 4, p. 10
     "5. Asgardian citizens must pay lawfully established taxes and levies."
Taxes on revenues obtained from the Asgardian economy would be paid to Asgardia whereas taxes on revenues obtained from another country's economy would be paid to the govenment of the country (as required by the laws of the country). Am I right on this?

Chapter 3, Article 9, Paragraph 9, p. 10
     "9. Asgardian citizens must make a contribution to the creation of Asgardia’s resources to ensure the common good that is commensurate with their ability to do so."
I am eager to see the kind of (scientific) work will be available in the Asgardian economy.

Chapter 4, Article 11 on Human Resources, p. 12
Beautifully expressing the reasons why I joined the Asgardia project.

Chapter 4, Article 13, Paragraph 2
     "2. Asgardia’s currency is the Gor."
I suppose the details on this have yet to be determined.

Chapter 4, Article 13, Paragraph 2
     "5. Asgardia’s sovereign currency is issued by the National Bank in the amount tied to the ideal parameters of the Moon set by a special law of Asgardia."
What does "ideal parameters of the Moon" means?

Chapter 4, Article 14 on Scientific Resources, p. 14
Another great article.

Chapter 7, Article 22, Paragraph 5, p. 18
     "that is harmful to morality"
replaced by  
     "that is harmful to natural morality"
natural morality being understood as not hurting anyone (physically or psychologically)and providing help when possible to someone in distress.

Chapter 7, Article 26, Paragraph 2
     "2. Asgardia’s national symbols are chosen via a referendum [..]"
Could transcripts of the proposed national anthems be made available before the referendum?  

Chapter 8, Article 32, Paragraph 2, p. 24
     "2. When dealing with other heads of state, Asgardia’s Head of State may also be referred to as the President, Monarch, King and otherwise in accordance with protocol  
           depending on the other party."
Monarch and king are outdated attributes. They are usually acquired by birthright and transmissible from one generation to the next.

Chapter 8, Article 32, Paragraph 4, p. 24
     "4. The maximum age limit for the Head of State position is 75 years."
Although this does not seem too unreasonable, some may consider this as  ageism.

Chapter 8, Article 32, Paragraph 5, p. 24
      "5. One year prior to reaching the age limit or in the event of a voluntary resignation, the Head of State nominates a candidate for the position of Head of State on a
            hereditary or other basis.[...]"
I would remove "on a hereditary or other basis". This is too suggestive of feudalism.

Chapter 8, Artilce 32, Paragraph 11, p. 25
     "11. The Head of State enjoys immunity and is granted a lifetime guarantee of personal safety and the safety of his/her property after leaving the role."
Here, I disagree. In case of gross fraud or corruption, no one should be immune from justice. On the other hand, there could be some form of protection against prosecutions resulting from an erroneous decision made in good faith but leading to some damages.

Chapter 8, Article 32, Paragraph 12g, p. 25
     "g) grants clemency;"
replaced by
     "g) grants clemency, except in cases of crimes against humanity,and clemency subjected to approval by Parliament and by Council of Supreme Values;"

Chapter 8, Article 34, Paragraph 3, p. 27
     "3. Members of Parliament are elected for terms of five years from among Asgardian citizens who have reached the age of 50."
Any justification for this minimum age of 50? Ageism, again!

Note:
Many of these critiques have already been expressed by others. I am sorry for the repetitions.

  Last edited by:  Andre Ratel (Asgardian)  on May 27, 17 / Can 07, 01 04:29 UTC, Total number of edits: 3 times
Reason: paragraph reformatting

May 27, 17 / Can 07, 01 04:24 UTC

11. Asgardia is a country of free spirit, science and internationalism. At the same time, every Asgardian can freely practice any religion on Earth.

What if there are request for  Houses of  Prayer ?


  Last edited by:  Prajogi Iskandar (Asgardian)  on May 27, 17 / Can 07, 01 04:25 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time