May 19, 17 / Gem 27, 01 11:46 UTC
Re: Discussion of the draft Constitution ¶
about the tax, i think its for future not now ... they maybe ask a tax to make our ID or to resent then and things alike
May 19, 17 / Gem 27, 01 12:37 UTC
Can you please post a version of this document with LINE NUMBERING enabled? It would make identifying specific text much easier for those making comments and whoever has to make the changes.
May 19, 17 / Gem 27, 01 12:38 UTC
This doesn't feel like a visionary constitution, on which to found a nation, but a political operations manual.
I feel that it contains to much, and as such is prone to internal conflicts of meaning and intent. E.g.:
8.2: All Asgardian citizens are equal vs. article 2: Asgardia is a constitutional monarchy [...] – Having a monarch by definition and in reality precludes all citizens from being equal, since one has special rights the others don't.
8.8: [...] without prior approval on the basis of written notification. – This means that it might be necessary to acquire a verbal approval?
8.10: [...] Citizen rights and freedoms may only be restricted by the law of Asgardia to the extentrequired to protect Asgardia’s national sovereignty, ensure Asgardia’s security – This is no different from the laws of fx. the USA, which has lead to mass surveillance of it's citizens and concepts like "enhanced interrogation methods" and "rendition".
9.5: Asgardian citizens must pay lawfully established taxes and levies. – I now have to pay double taxes, since the constitution doesn't offer me any place to live that's not my current country of recidence. This problem is primarily a problem in the transition period.
9.6: [...] citizens have the right and obligations to participate in elections [...] [or] may lead to legal consequences inaccordance with the law. – This basically means that I'm punished for not participating, even though 8.4.b states that I'm allowed to participate via representatives.
9.7: What does "preserve" mean? No agricultural crop on earth is "perserved", and none is "natural". All have undergone more or less extreme transformations since our agricultural history began (back then water melons was the size of small berries).
9.9: What does "the common good" mean? Who defines the common good? And how is it defined? Good lacks measurable and imperial quality, which leaves it open for personal interpretation.
10.6: and [must] take [public opinion] into account. – This opens for the possibility that "taken into account" becomes "I have listened, and because I'm the monarch, I will choose to ignore you".
11.3: What if I don't want to use my spare time for "self-development", "self-improvement", "creative" or "cultural pursuits"? Am I then not guaranteed free time? And why is the constitution even talking about free time? The constitution is not my employer.
13.3: "Main" needs elaboration, or a reference to an exhaustive and definitive list.
13.6: Why is this even in there? What gain does the nation and it citizens have from this being here? And how does Asgardia support them?
14.2: Why is the hard- and software limited to earth and the moon?
14.5: "Science, art, research and education may be pursued freely in Asgardia, subject to the Constitution." –Subject to the constitution means that the constitution can and does limit what i can educate my self in?
14.6: What is this even doing in a constitution?
14.7: Since this is in here: "Asgardia guarantees the rights of authors, inventors and users of intellectual propertyin harmony and balance." How does Asgardia protect the rights of these groups of people?
16.4: Yet, one of the most fundamental sign-ups in Asgardia's history: The sign-up to become a citizen was limited to a certain number of people. This was posted at a given time in a given time zone, which de-facto (dur to max number of participants) favour the inhabitants of that timezone.
And the list goes on, but I'm getting tiered of reading through uninspiring, unspecific and irrelevant items in what still looks to me like a political plan, not a founding constitution.
May 19, 17 / Gem 27, 01 15:05 UTC
Some of the wording concerns me on the first read through. The term "Surpreme Values" is troubling. I would recomend the term "Prime Directives" or some other such thing.
I make the suggestion due to the term "Supreme Values" sounding as if we would live in a dictatorship instead of a scientificly centered, community organized, space nation.
Also, the bit about a constitutional monarchy is concerning. It implies that the heads of state are somehow better than the citizens. This cannot be allowed as it will lead to corruption amoung those whom are supposed to lead the nation. If we are all truley equal then we must be equal.
May 19, 17 / Gem 27, 01 18:10 UTC
В Демократия Asgardia является неполитическим. Текущее состояние землян общество не может быть исходной модели для построения системы управления состоянием Asgardia. Перед каждым Асгардцы есть сейчас вопросы самосознания, самоопределения и самоуправления, которые выходят за пределы национального государства, критерии и морально-этические нормы земных религий. И в какой последовательности двигаться - сверху вниз от себя-просветление, или снизу вверх - от самоуправления на наиболее, что на земном уровне, на данном этапе это не возможно, чтобы решить спор.
оригинал-Демократия в Асгардии носит неполитический характер. Нынешнее состояние общества Землян не может быть исходным образцом построения системы управления государством Асгардия. Перед каждым Асгардцем стоят сейчас вопросы самоосознания, самоопределения и самоуправления, выходящие за национальные государственные критерии и морально-этические нормативы земных религий. А в какой последовательности двигаться – сверху вниз от идеального самопросветления, или снизу вверх – от самоуправления на самом, что ни на есть земном уровне, на данном этапе диспутом не решить. Поэтому пусть будет первым этапом принята Конституционная монархия. Почему бы и нет…
In Democracy, Asgardia is non-political. The current state of the Terran society can not be the initial model for building the Asgardia state management system. Before each Asgardians there are now questions of self-awareness, self-determination and self-government that go beyond the national state, the criteria and moral and ethical norms of terrestrial religions. And in what order to move - from top to bottom from self-enlightenment, or from below upwards - from self-management to the most that is on the earthly level, at this stage it is not possible to resolve the dispute.
The original Democracy in Asgardia is non-political. The current state of the Earthlings society can not be the initial model for building the system of governing the state of Asgardia. Before each Asgardians there are now questions of self-awareness, self-determination and self-government, which go beyond national state criteria and moral and ethical standards of terrestrial religions. And in what sequence to move - from top to bottom from ideal self-enlightenment, or from below upwards - from self-management on the most, that on an earthly level, at this stage it is not possible to solve a dispute. Therefore, let the first stage be the Constitutional monarchy. Why not…
Admin Edit: Translation provided by Google - Jason Rainbow 19 May 2017
May 19, 17 / Gem 27, 01 19:07 UTC
Good day everyone,
First of all thank you for having this discussion and allowing feedback to be posted. I really do hope the comments are taken into consideration and is not just a waste of time of so many Asgardians posting their opinions and suggestions / amendments of the Constitution.
Secondly, I have to stand by Mr. Scarbs post, it is the most complete review so far and he makes some very reasonable points. Completely agree with his arguments.
Thirdly, I need to add a few more:
For the moment I rest here but I will add more if needed.
Thank you for your time
May 19, 17 / Gem 27, 01 19:20 UTC
"I really do hope the comments are taken into consideration and is not just a waste of time "
Yes, me and my team are currently monitoring this thread and compiling all of your suggestions.
May 19, 17 / Gem 27, 01 20:39 UTC
sorry for asking, but you gonna assemble a document with the opinions and send to Asgardia or you are one of the volunteers of Asgardia and you are doing it by they request? i am confused sorry!
I am gonna say my opinion, i request that all of you before saying that its wrong our at fault, understand that i live in Brazil a corrupted democracy,wheres my president,vice president and parliament its corrupt (and theres no more salvation here...) and where we have one of most high taxations of the world!(so for me tax its almost like a obligation for everything that i do).
About Governement: Theres no perfect governement system created until today, every type of governement have they own pros and cons, and i PERSONALLY think that a Constitutional monarchy is a VIABLE (not the best) option for now (i can be wrong, but its personal opinion).
About Taxes: this is for future not now, taxes can be applied on : Reissue of a lost ID, the selling of asgardia products (i can be wrong here!), emission of a oficial Document, Tax of financial movimentantion (to when we use our coin (GOR?))... and so on, its not other world thing, i think we not need to be so scared of this if they put that can not have a double taxation!
About our Coin (GOR): Please change this name to something like: Credits, and create a second coint like: Dollar have cents and in Brazil Reais have Centavos ... and this will be a virtual coin?? ( i suspect that the name of the coin come from this: iGOR, can be wrong here ~)
Gonna wait some opinions on this! (please be reasonable haha)
May 19, 17 / Gem 27, 01 20:49 UTC
I am one of the volunteers (well, the veteran volunteer actally), and I am doing officially, it at the request of the admin. Me and my team's job is to compile all of your suggestions into as document that will be reviewed by the legal team (the one responsible for the Constitution Draft). You can view the document (and our progress in real time) here: https://asgardia.space/en/forum/forum/constitution-132/topic/working-thread-compilation-of-community-suggestions-for-the-constitution-draft-5387/
May 19, 17 / Gem 27, 01 21:09 UTC
To clarify what I mean by "veteran":
There has been a total of four suggestions compilation rounds (including this one). I am the only non-admin member to be involved in all of them. Ever since the first. I'm not actually old or something.
May 19, 17 / Gem 27, 01 21:21 UTC
Representing the people's will is something I am proud to do.
May 19, 17 / Gem 27, 01 22:30 UTC
I don't agree with the head is state able to nominate a successor based on heredity. I don't agree with taxes being levied when I am still paying taxes on the country I live in at this moment. I don't like the name of the currency. I don't agree with legal repercussions for not voting. A monarchy? No, I disagree. It needs more checks and balances.
In fact, there are many questionable things in this. It definitely needs some rework. I am sure there are other items I have failed to mention.
May 19, 17 / Gem 27, 01 23:35 UTC
I posted many if these suggestions on Facebook last night as that was the link to Feedback, but I'd also like to post here as well as I've seen two very different responses and the likelihood of my post being missed is not a small one.
So to start with I have to second the concerns related to the choosing of the term Consitutional Monarchy and titles of King and Monarch. Looking on Facebook this has already caused lots of anxiety in people. If this form of government is to go through it's more likely to pass if form of government is called a Constitutional Republic and scratch out the titles other than President as well as the mention of the possibility of the Head of State nominating a successor based purely on hereditary reasons. Of course I also have problems with the actual office itself and the powers granted to it and don't really care what we end up calling it as that's just the cover. Still a suggestion.
Next I also have to second the fact that much of this looks more like a political manifesto than a cohesive document setting out how the government will work. This isn't too much of a problem but at the very least I would move the form of government before Article 5. The reason for that choice is it highlights the importance of the Supreme Values (also Supreme Values and Absolute Supreme Values honestly sounds kind of silly) and the Asgardian Mission. The other articles also don't really matter without a government and it can be hard to see how those articles work without knowing how the government itself will work. In addition less politically focused layman will tend to be mostly glossing over the government structures and powers sections which is a bad thing considering that it seems non-participation is grounds for losing citizenship according to this constitution.
Next I need to bring up the point that punishing disrepectful behavior towards the symbols of Asgrdia is in many countries seen as a violation of Freedom of Speech. It'd be better to have a clause allowing peaceful protests as long as the time, place, and manner are appropriate and leave out Article 26 clause 5. Needing to assent to the Document of Unity makes sense as that is what is being made as the core of Asgardia. Needing to show respect through Asgardia's national symbols for what Asgardia will eventually become doesn't.
Next I'd like to address the Royal Council. As far as I can tell its only powers are Appointments and Nominations of certain positions, and investigating and reporting back to the Head of State their findings. If this is all that is intended this should be made more clear. To paraphrase Article 33, "The ... powers ... of the Royal Council of Supreme Values are set by the Consitution and the Law of Asgardia." First of all it is redundant to say that the Consitution sets the powers of the Royal Council since it is the foundation of government. Second the mention of the Law of Asgardia suggests that Parliament or the Ministries or other bodies could change the power of the Royal Council, which body is unclear as it's not easily and clearly stated what constitutes as the Law of Asgardia (as it is the clearest mention is that it is separate from all other Legal Acts in Article 31 clause 2 and those other legal acts essentially cover everything that every branch might create including the decisions of referendum, that who can create lass is left unclear unlike everything else in that clause which specifies where they come from). Third by mentioning both this way seems to suggest a near equivalence of both the Law and the Constitution which undermines the power and purpose of the Consitution. This isn't the only time this phrase shows up and it should be edited or removed entirely.
Also would like to briefly second the adoption of more gender neutral language as while masculine pronouns have traditionally been the formal way of referring to humans in general, it really is a somewhat sexist usage and not really fitting this documents modern origins.
Also what's up with Article 13 Clause 5 with the mention of the "ideal parameters of the moon" what on Earth does that mean? Plus "Gor." Really?
Now to move onto the Head of State. While all of my other suggestions are rather minor things I can overlook, this is the big one that needs to change. While I might be willing to assent to the government in this form, should it ever start actually affecting my life without it changing, that would be the day I would revoke my citizenship status. First of all this position is incredibly powerful. First of all it gives the Head of State near total control over who is on the Royal Council which is why I consider it important to fully know their powers. Next it also gives the Head of State not only the power to nominate people to key positions (including their own successor) which seems fairly reasonable, it then also gives them the power to either appoint or veto candidates of other very key positions. This essentially is saying that the Head of State has a variety of powers to make the government one that they want. Then it also gives them near total control over foreign relations, this power in the least should be a separate office. Next we have its relationship with Parliament which is a very troublesome one. First is the power to call for re-elections which while the clause saying how long people are elected for seems to suggest that the Head of State would be unable to force members of Parliament to run for re-election early, does suggest that the Head of State could effectively prevent Parliament from forming unless the Head of State whishes for Parliament to form. With the addition to dissolve Parliament this essentially means that Parliament can only exist when the Head of State wishes for them to do stuff. Unfortunately, other than a few key powers such as confirming or nominating a few key positions and allowing a state of emergency to be declared, not much expressly requires Parliament to exist in order to be done. The Government (which should probably be renamed to Ministries so as to avoid confusion) essentially does all that Parliaments are generally thought to do. Parliament doesn't even have express control over taxation and levies which means that it's possible a situation of taxation without direct representation could very well occur. That's just asking for trouble. Then there's the fact that the Head of Stare can veto anything Parliament passes with no clause that allows Parliament to overrule the Head of State. Honestly this gives the Head of State as much power as early English monarchs. While I won't always say large amount of power will always be abused, I will also say that it won't ever not be abused. Plus 10-35 years is a long time to abuse that power, and abuse in such ways as to not get in trouble with the consitution. Some suggestions I have would be allow Parliament the power to overrule the veto with a super-majority, make its existence not dependent upon the Head of State wanting it to exist, and separating the power over foreign relations. If it is not intended to let Parliament be the decision maker, simply make it impossible for members of Parliament to introduce bills not originating from outside themselves. Also expressly give them the power over raising taxes and levies. If this doesn't happen that at the very least the Head of State needs to be occupied by two people with short terms, 1-2 years (Roman consul style) with Emergency states allowing a single person to take the office. This rapid turnover should prevent any single person from abusing their power too much and would make them more of a check of last resort rather than the ruler of the government as they currently are.
A few other suggestions would be to clarify the election method of Parliament, the amount of support an Amendment needs in order to be adopted and better enumeration of powers of the branches in general, at the very least to make it easier to read, and at least a temporary age requirement reduction.
As for suggestions that I don't think should affect the Constitution itself necessarilly, but would be nice to have would be first a guarantee of some sort that at first only levies with very clear purposes will be made instead of permanent taxes, until the need for a permanent source of revenue comes. Supposedly Igor has large monetary backing, many of the positions at this stage should likely be volunteer and not have a guaranteed income as there is as of yet no benefit gained by citizens from this government as we essentially have all the protections from our own governments on Earth. This might need to be specified in the Constitution, perhaps as making it that only citizens living in Asgardian territory be subject to permanent taxes instead of incidental levies.
Secondly some sort of document (clearly expressing that it has no legal significance) explaining the ideas and justification of the various parts of the constitution as well as summarizing it so layman who are unused to reading constitutional documents are at least able to get a general idea of the implications of the various articles of the Constitution.
As a side note if you have read all this, my apologies for my verbose analyses of the Constitution and please excuse any spelling mistakes I made. I did my best but spell-check didn't show up for me and I typed all this on an iPhone.