I have read the new Constitution proposal and I prefer it to the official draft. Here are my comments on it.
A general remark
If, in a couple of centuries (or sooner), Asgardia is mainly populated by trans-humanists or post-humanists, they may not be too happy about all the references to humanity and mankind in the preamble of the Constitution. But, perhaps, they will have their own space nation... or perhaps, we should consider replacing "humans" by "persons", or some similar word.
"bring spiritual and scientific practices"
I would prefer
"bring intellectual and scientific practices"
"2b. ensure the protection of humankind from outer space threats"
I would prefer the less human-centric
"2b. ensures the protection of Earth and of its biodiversity"
"11. can freely practice any religion on Earth"
"11. can freely practice any religion (now existing) on Earth"
I would be tempted to replace this by
"11. can freely practice, on Earth, any religion".
Furthermore, I am not very comfortable with the term "any religion"> I find it is a bit too broad. Some sects have very nasty religious practices.
Chapter 2, Article 4, Paragraph 3
"§ 3. Asgardia’s absolute Supreme Value is humanity striving into the limitless future of the Universe, an unstoppable quest to understand and transform the Universe."
I would prefer the less human-centric
"§ 3. Asgardia’s Absolute Supreme Value is intelligence striving into the limitless future of the Universe, an unstoppable quest to understand and inhabit the Universe."
Note the capitalization of the word Absolute.
Chapter 2, Article 4, Paragraph 4
"§ 4.b. protection of all of humanity from space-originating threats;"
I would prefer
"protection of Earth's inhabitants from [...]".
Chapterr 3, Article 6, Paragraph 2
"§ 2. Citizenship of Asgardia is a special type of citizenship and does not constitute dual or second citizenship for the purposes of any Earth nation citizenship. A citizen of an Earth nation becoming an Asgardian citizen does not confer multiple citizenship status unless otherwise stipulated by an international treaty to which Asgardia is a party."
requires some explanation. As I understand it, 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 5
"§ 5. The people shall be liable to taxation as provided by law."
is too vague and has raised some concerns in more than one posts. . I would replace it by
"§ 5. 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 the country)."
I think most citizens would accept this. My idea is this. Asgardia provides some educational resources with which each citizen can acquire some expertise. The citizen can then use her/his knowledge and participate in Asgardia's economy. This generates some revenues subjected to taxation. This is what I call a participationist system that could help any motivated person get out of poverty. Moreover, I could make Asgardia a star of hope in regions where now there is only despair and resignation.
Chapter 3, Article 11, Paragraph 2
"§ 2. Asgardia uses its own material, financial, and other resources to ensure free access to distance learning, professional qualifications, and scientific and creative work for Asgardian citizens "
For me, this is the most important article of all. It defines what I would call l a participationist system.
Chapter 3, Article 13, Paragraph 2
"§ 2. Asgardia’s currency is the Solar. The symbols for Solar will be established by Asgardia’s National Bank. Solar shall not be represented with a decimal place or fractional value."
I like the name Solar. The symbol could be an S with a short horizontal bar (dash) inthe middle. Any particular reason why no decimal place or fractional value?
Chapter 3, Article 13, Paragraph 11
"§ 11. The Government shall establish a single-payer, universal health insurance program. Contribution to this program by citizens is regulated by the Law of Asgardia."
This should imply the creation of a Ministry of Health.
Chapter 7, Article 26, Paragraph 3
"§ 3. Asgardia’s national motto is “Ab scientia libertas. Ab libertas pacem." (From science comes freedom. From freedom comes peace.)."
I much prefer this than the one in the official draft.
Chapter 7, Article 27, Paragraph 1
"§ 1. Asgardia’s official language shall be called Basic and is based on International English."
This is certainly more realistic than having 13 official languages which would require lots of time and resources for translations and duplications and could lead to some confusion between the various versions. As I recall, in the early 2000s, the total budget for translating texts in the EU was around 2 billions per year (I do not remember if these were dollars or euros). This money could have been put to better use to preserve the Greek health system, for example.
- most texts printed and on the Web are in English (Wikipedia is an example of this)
- English is easier to learn than many other languages (for example, contrary to French, there is no need to guess the gender of a chair or of a bus)
- English has, by far, the richest vocabulary, especially in science
- English is understood by a majority of current Asgardians.
- English is now what Latin was in medieval Europe.
- providing some educational resources for learning English should be a top priority
- citizens could ask for a non-official translation to be provided when needed
Also, I would suggest naming the language Basish instead of Basic just to avoid any confusion with the programming language of the 1970s :-).
Chapter 8, Article 32, Paragraph 9
"g. grants clemency;"
Even for crime against humanity?
Chapter 8, Article 34, Paragraph 2
"§ 2. The term of office of members of the Parliament shall be six (6) Earth-years. Parliament seats shall be up for election on a six (6) Earth-year cadence, with only half of the seats of Parliament to be elected at any one time."
How this would work in the transitional period with first Parliament needs to be stipulated. Which seats would be open for new candiidates?
Chapter 8, Article 35, Paragraph 11
"§ 11. The Ministries of Government are:[...]"
There is no Ministry of Health. I would have though that space medicine would be of paramount importance for a space nation.
Chapter 3, Article 37, Paragraph 17
"nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb twice in jeopardy of life or limb?
What does this means? Is is permissible to put a person in jeopardy of life or limb once? I though there were no death penalty. And amputation or mutilation as a form of punitive treatment is not more acceptable. But my interpretation of this may be wrong.
Hoping that what I have written here does make sense.