May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 02:04 UTC

Re: Discussion of the draft Constitution  

I didn't finish the reading yet, but article 9 seems problematic.  I don't care paying a tax, but for what purpose ?  For now. it's a virtual nation...Taxes are supposed to benefits the community, not enrich individuals.  Also, I see a problem with the term National Bank as it is actually a valid bank name in Canada.  As for monarchy, what is the necessity ?  We can have a simple president or premier to lead the government...Too much power in one person can be catastrophic for the nation.


May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 03:06 UTC

I simply would like to request that there be a central place where copies of the Constiution is in EVERY one of the 13 languages can be viewed before the community votes. Perhaps here on he main website...

May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 04:56 UTC

      About  voting numbers                                                                                   

                                

 There is currently just  under 180.000 people registered as citizens, Last I read or saw is that  we need 100.000 votes to pass DoU and Constitution . Know I read that  only half need to vote .So if we need 100,000 to pass that means around  79000 or so don't need to vote.If  its the other way just over 85000 don;t need to vote .So which is it 

This also needs to be explained on all the FB pages not just Asgardia General

May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 05:24 UTC

@Protean

Why is it assumed by several people taxation will happen right away? Why are prople uneasy about this? Let me explain.

In the draft constitution, the requirement of citizens to pay tax a constitutional obligation on citizens (ie. directly stated in the draft constitution Art 9-5. From what I have seen, most countries that mention taxation in their constitution are satisfied to just state that the taxation system and terms will be set by the laws of the state (similar to Art. 13-13). Once these laws are duly enacted under a constitution, they becomes a legal obligation on citizens.

Again, according to the draft constitution, a breach of constitutional obligations can lead to, among other things, suspension / revocation of citizenship (Art. 9-10). Further, Article 46 allows the Head of State, prior to the election of the parliament and formation of government,  to "... issue decrees which remain in force until appropriate laws are adopted."

What safeguard is there that stops the Head of State issuing a decree stating "All Asgardians must pay a tax of [X] by [date]" and then revoking the citizenship of all those that can't (or won't) pay?

May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 05:55 UTC

Hi Everyone,

I'm really glad to see everyone becoming more active and voicing their concerns on this constitution. I do hope to read further suggestions and alternatives to place in the Constitution compilation that @skieswanne, Myself, and other members are putting together before they get officially passed up to the LEGAL team.

One thing I want to point out. I don't know if our previous efforts (motto, contests, DoU, Constitution ToC, etc.) were passed up in time for this document to be released. I would like to believe that maybe the LEGAL team have not taken the time to fully process our feedback and update their documents. If this should be the case, I want to see more active updates to the draft. A single review/compilation/feedback period is absurdly ridiculous. The short time period (Dr. Ashurbeyli has) requested to get our feedback before May 28th, is not only short-sighted, but completely ignores the democratic process of feedback.

Even the Japanese under a monarchy parliamentary system have the concept of Kaizen Strategy. Fundamentally, you must take feedback and incorporate it into the new system. That feedback binds the CEO and executives of the company to follow through. I would like to see more of this here. 

If the case is that our community efforts have not yet been incorporated due to time, then it should be obvious that a 10 day period (where 1/3 of that period most don't know it exists) is way too short of a time period for a proper debate and construction of a new draft.

Furthermore, you cannot run a country like a business. In the business world, the CEO is effectively a Dictator. Everything is waterfall, top-down, decision making... In a nation/state, the leader (regardless of title and type) is ultimately beholden to the people. For dictators, they do eventually die or the people revolt and the Dictator loses power. That power is given by the people. The people in large enough numbers will determine the fate of the nation. One has only to look at the revolutions of the past to see this truth.

  Last edited by:  Richie Bartlett (Asgardian)  on May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 06:25 UTC, Total number of edits: 2 times

May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 06:18 UTC

No Monarchy:

As already mentioned by many others, the declaration
     "Asgardia is a Constitutional Monarchy"
is problematic. Why a monarchy? A monarchy is a relic of medieval feudalism, when the value of a person depended on the rank and status of the parents. It would be more appropriate to replace Constitutional Monarchy by
     Constitutional Meritocracy
or by
     Democratic Meritocracy
or, more toward modernity, by
     Participationist Meritocracy.

Now, I think it would be fair that the founding leader of Asgardia has, at least for a limited time, some (non transferable) special powers. It is to be expected that someone who have put a considerable amount of efforts and time and financial resources on a project would fear completely loosing control on that project, and fear that the project would be hijacked and taken in a direction he does not agree with. This is understandable. So, based on the  previous accomplishments (and in the spirit of a Meritocracy), I would agree that the political influence (or powers) of the founding leader should be more extensive (in time or otherwise) than those of the Heads of State that will succeed him. The details of this would be explicitly enunciated in the Transitional Period Chapter of the Constitution.

An emerging nation will survive with difficulty if it is in political turmoil. Someone (or some group) might need, in the very first stages,extended powers to stabilize the project and send it in the best direction.

I think we should all agree that, that without the Asgardia founding team, we would not be here. Anyway, we are not confined to a territory.So, if in the future, we do not like the direction Asgardia is taking, we can always jump off the spaceship (so to speak :-).

About participationism:

Statements that I would like to see in the Constitution are:

  1. The prime objective of the government is to improve the life, the education and the well-being of all citizens.
  2. The economic role of the government is to provide an equitable distribution of the work that needs to be done and of the benefits resulting from this work. Exploitation and increasing economic inequality will be considered as government failure.
  3. The economy of Asgardia is constitutionally defined as a participationist economy. This means that citizens are incited to develop an expertise and being helped with this through education. They can then fully participate in the economy and in the benefits of this economy.
  4. The social system of Asgardia is constitutionally defined as a participationist system. Educated citizens having an strong interest in a project can freely participate in the elaboration and execution of that project, according to their expertise. Here, the role of government will be to coordinate the efforts so to avoid duplication and dispersion.
  5. Because Argardia is a participationist society, the influence of each citizen will depend on her/his past accomplishments. This is why the nation is being defined as a Constitutional Meritocracy. 
  6. The main activity in Asgardia must be centred on education and on science and technology. These are crucial to any fast evolving society bound to meet new and unforeseen challenges.

Hoping that all this makes sense. 

     Andre

May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 06:48 UTC

@scarbs - I don't disagree with you that most states tend to stick to general principles and leave matters of law out of the constitutional documents, however it could be interesting reading to have a little perusal of our own country's documents, you may be surprised at what you find written there.  There are many constitutions that have quite definitive citizens obligations in them and they work ok without too much problem to the citizenry at large.

Although, as most would know from my previous posts in other forums, I have a rather cynical opinion of human nature I find it difficult to tar someone who has grand ideas such as the doctor has with the black brush just yet.  Not knowing or talking to him and seeing so many obvious translation problems in this document I would be willing to reserve judgement.

As I said previously, There are a things in that document which seem superfluous, contradictory and definitely not the way I would have done it.  However there is a fair amount of stuff that is general and ok.  Perhaps put forward more ideas defining how we think it should be worded to allow for more control by the people, proper separation of powers and checks on that power.

I find it helps with my understanding of why releases are being written in this manner if I remember:

a) any state with peoples living in an environment in space in the future will definitely not be "business as usual". It cannot possibly be because the environment is completely hostile. It must be a created environment which is built, owned, maintained and staffed by the state. So a certain amount of dictatorial control is inevitable in the thinking of anyone who happens to be the one who thought up, paid for and launched it.

b) these documents are being written in russian and translated by people with no english-as-first-language skills.  The documents contain big ideas and concepts which don't translate very easily. This means there is a certain amount of emotive junk introduced by superfluous and nonsensical statements at the beginning.  These usually seem to get us all in a state of panic so we miss the intent of the wording.

c) I personally cant see that I have the right to tell my dad how to run his family, regardless of how much better at it or how much more knowledge I think I have.  He bought me into the world and I just have to live with his rules.  If I don't like it I can make a respectful suggestion and if I don't like the answer then I am free to leave.  At this stage it's really the doctors baby and we've been asked to put forward suggestions.  I can't see any real point in getting upset because the guy who came up with the idea, put his reputation on the line and put his money where his mouth is didn't like my suggestions. 

I mean honestly @scarbs, you and @thor haven't even allowed a chance for your suggestions to be taken up before you started screaming blue murder.  Settle down a bit and put forward sensible well written arguments as to why something is not a good idea. Post well thought out, researched ideas that define how you see things can or should be improved.  You've done this impeccably in the past forums.

I'm not having a go at you mate or trying to be rude or sarcastic. And I am not saying the draft is what I prefer. I'm prepared to be proven completely wrong in all this, however I do think putting forward positive offerings of how to change it to be a better document is preferable to writing everything off before the cutoff date comes around.

Also, my fifth reading of the document coupled with some research shows that the structure is not as close to the hereditary despotic monarchical platform that we thought it was at first.  There are reasonable structures and checks on power in there they are just very poorly written and leave large areas open to subjectivity.  @nihylum has hilighted a number and cleaned some of them up for better definition.  Also on re-reading @trackman1997's original post it seems to contain the thought process that can be used to properly define those checks and balances without the originator/financier of the project losing control of his own idea.  If anyone is not sure of the areas of concern @LoreZyra has pointed out very clearly the areas which are allowing subjectivity in, or lack of the necessary checks on range of power by the various governmental positions and bodies.

Again I'm sorry if that offends anyone. That is not my intention.

May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 06:51 UTC

@Andre - an excellent understanding of human nature and great suggestions towards allowing the originator to maintain control of his idea while allowing a more defined and citizen controlled line of succession.

May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 06:54 UTC

About taxes:

Chapter 3, Article 9, Paragraph 4, p. 10:
     "5. Asgardian citizens must pay lawfully established taxes and levies."

In my view to be acceptable, the statement should be more explicit and read 

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 government of  the country (as required by the laws of that country). 

Preamble in the Declaration of unity: 

Chapter 1, p. 4:
Instead of
     "based on the birthright of Man in the universe"
I would much prefer 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 beings to try to survive, explore the environment, learn from experience and evolve in the direction of their choice.

All my life, since childhood, I have felt that other animal species were unfairly being treated. I will thus be very reluctant to subscribe to any project heavily based on humanistic (ianthropocentric) values. Of course, I am aware this is probably not the view of the majority.



May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 07:10 UTC

@ bigred - not offended at all. This process is meant to stimulate discussion from different points of view.

If it seems that I am screaming blue murder, it is because I have seen a lot of people on this forum put an obvious large amount of time and effort into intelligent discussions and positive offerings about the structure and reach of government, how the economy could be structured, how the legal system should work, the potential rights and obligations and citizens (and so on), seemingly for naught. My evidence - the proposal to operate Asgardia as a constitutional monarchy.

As best I could (without the benefit of a search function), I have trawled back through old threads about what structure the government should take. I have been unable to find a single post where someone has said something to the effect "Hey, why not a constitutional monarchy? " Not one. If people believe their previous well thought our suggestions and arguments were not even looked at and that decisions are being made unilaterally without consultation, what are they going to do? Perhaps yell louder? Maybe get a little bit aggravated?

BTW, Australia's constitution about taxation:

  • s.51 "The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:
  • ...
  • (ii) taxation;"

  • No mention of a constitutional obligation of citizens to pay tax at all.

  Updated  on May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 08:25 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time
Reason: Typo

May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 07:52 UTC

I have reservations about the whole constitutional monarchy thing. I do not see that idea working out due to the nature of man when power over others is involved. The governing system should have been one that makes government officials responsible to the people they govern. So, they can not just do as they please 

GUM

May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 08:23 UTC

A number of us have commented on the phrase "ideal parameters of the Moon" wondering where it came from.  In my initial post I didn't have any idea and suggested it might be a translation error.  I still believe it is probably partially due to translation however one thing intriguing me about the statement is that the word moon is capitalised. 

In my research I did find an obscure reference to the "parameters of the Moon" (same phrasing) so I guess it could have some actual meaning to the author - although, once again I think that meaning has been lost in the translation to English. 

I think it is too far off topic and probably ridiculously emotive for this forum so I won't post it here.  If anyone is curious then feel free to contact me on my public address p_bellamy @ hotmail dot com


May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 08:44 UTC

@scarbs - I'm not sure I see a distinction between the combination of what is written in section 5, 51-55 of our constitution and the single statement made in the draft.

Australian Constitution simply says all laws mentioned or arising from the constitution are binding on all australian citizens. Then in section 51-55 it lists that the parliament has the power to enact laws for a variety of things including taxes - ergo it is every australian citizens obligation to pay taxes, duties, levies etc.

The draft says "5. Asgardian citizens must pay lawfully established taxes and levies"

I agree that it is not the best way to encode it and the wording in English is way to emotive however there's not a lot of difference there.

Apart from the people who don't want to pay any tax, surely we aren't missing the point that the taxes and levies have to be "lawfully established". Surely the intent of this is they have to go through some process of parliament.

Also as @Petrv and @(the person with the meditating alien avatar) pointed out there needs to be some thought that these are future necessities and simply need to be established in the document at the time of enactment.

[edit] However I do take your point about the level of frustration. You've seen me get on my soapbox about feedback and clarification on previous forums.  I simply sought out those involved and contacted them directly, without demands or pushing my ideas (I think that is the key). They responded within a time frame that was suitable for my questions (which are probably not as important as I think).  That's also how I found out who wrote this draft document (see my first post on this forum).  For most things we all have access to Rebekah and Jason anyway and they work as closely with the NGO as anyone is likely to get at the moment.

  Last edited by:  Paul Bellamy (Asgardian)  on May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 08:54 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 08:52 UTC

As I said before, this draft would be a deal-breaker for me.

I joined this project after reading the publicly available information at the given time, because I saw a big potential to break free from overcome political systems and create a truly democratic system, a self regulating society.

Even in the communities suggestions I could see, that most were heading towards more traditional approaches, I made my suggestions and got some positive and some critic feedback on it, but far less than I was expecting, so I thought to myself "let's see what they finally come up with" I was expecting some kind of representative democracy with special terms for the founding fathers, depending on the conditions I would have been willing to give that a go as I really do support the goals of this project, but a monarchy with a lifetime immunity for the king, who is able to change pailament and main Court, longtime legislative periods, an pailament with a minimum age of roughly the double of the average citizen's age, an obligation for the citizens to pay undefined taxes (and the list goes on) are conditions I am not willing to accept.

Don't get me wrong, when this document is finalized, it does have potential to create a nation that is able to reach the main goals of the project, and I do understand the will of the founding fathers to keep things in their hands, but I am not willing to support the way this is going as I see catastrophic failure two or three generations ahead, when someone becomes king who forgets that all that firepower he has at hands is meant to protect earth and humankind. If that happens he couldn't even be made responsible because of the lifetime immunity, and I think that is why asgardia, with that constitution won't be recognized by most countries, I even could imagine that some countries might take military actions against a monarch trying to establish a habitat in earth orbit, that by the definition of the constitutional goal to protect earth from internal and external threads would have to be heavily armed and to protect its habitants also heavily armored. (even lightly armed satellites or ones that are able to emmit strong electromagnetic fields would be a major thread for earthly communication and navigation systems)

So, if this is the way things are going to go, I won't be around here after the votes have been counted.


Edit: and I do get the point of the ones, who think we were lied at, as we were told, the suggestions of the community would be drafted into this document, and I don't see any of that. Similarities between suggestions and this document are there because the topic in question had to be there. Even the changes to the toc of this document that were made by the community weren't taken into account.


  Last edited by:  Tordt Schmidt (Translator, Asgardian)  on May 22, 17 / Can 02, 01 09:09 UTC, Total number of edits: 2 times