@bloodyclean - Good definition. Interesting and fun to read.
1) Although a constitution will need to take the future into consideration, due to the nature of a project such as asgardia, I think there are important factors that need to be considered as being of greater immediate necessity than defining the eventual outcome in precise detail. That is I see the constitution as something that is a set of basics and allows the governing structure to be able to grow to meet the demands/needs of the future.
2) When I say "direct democracy" I don't envisage it as every sentence needing to be voted on. If that was the case then you wouldn't have any need for a representative (as in the case you described of talking to other parties). The voting is on the direction of the society and matters that have an impact (ie. matters of state). The reason for having the positions of responsibility is so that the projects, tasks and direction are kept on track on a day to day basis. Like a job site foreman. The foreman doesn't decide on the direction or policy or architecture. They ensure that the job goes smoothly and according to the plan that has been laid out for them. They make day to day decisions on matters within that job according to the guidelines given. So the populace votes on direction of the society in matters such as large financial decisions, whether to sign treaties, how to present the society to others, over-riding laws, state projects, etc. Remember these are matters of the state not small items of everyday work which are needed to run the nuts and bolts of society like spending on the coffee machine. In building a high-rise building the foreman knows what he can say and who he has to deal with by looking at the plan, talking to the architect and reading all the rules surrounding the building and supply codes in that area. This same principle is easy to apply to "striking a deal" with some other country. Anyway that particular case is not such a good example because any deal between states always comes with a ream of paper defining it and that could be put straight to the populace to vote a simple yes or no on. Having said that I understand your point, though I feel you misinterpreted what I have described above.
3) You worry about ideas not being seen or heard due to size. If the above is true then the forum for ideas becomes limited and not so much a discussion (As we have devolved these forums into) as just a statement of ideas which can be more easily summarised to a form which can be voted on. Remember these are state works not ideas for every day life or business or the minutia of the maintenance of the habitat. Also remember in any democracy at least the pass/fail voting percentage limit will not get what they want. Unfortunately it seems that in many people's minds this is unacceptable simply because it wasn't what they wanted. The current "he's not my president" movement in the USA is a grand example of this. I know this is a bit utopian but this attitude has to be removed before any system will gain the ability to withstand corruption because that ability comes from people trying to get their way in spite of hurting others.
4) "I believe this is the key premise behind the clauses about no political parties" - yes absolutely. Which is what a lot of us missed in the first reading of the DoU. The concept of trying to become the popular one can only lead to corruption and, as you say, people voting against their conscience (although those that do most likely have no real conscience that includes the good of others).
5) A higher level of training in situational and operational knowledge for everyone does not mean that everyone is an "expert" in everything. I used @thor's example to show that a lot of the things you envisage as being too difficult are actually a necessity of every day life in such an environment. Let me give you one closer to home. If we are citizens of a state without territory on earth then we have to be more politically aware and educated concerning how to deal with the day to day life within the countries we live in. In many countries having this dual citizenship is just not allowable - I'm talking about countries which are termed "western" or "developed" countries not some war-torn African jungle which people think is uncivilised. Also many of the laws of people's country of residence will be in direct opposition to a number of the principles of Asgardia - such as going into space or working on the propellant systems for such. People who have declared their allegiance/citizenship to Asgardia will need to be careful and better educated in the law and political exigencies than the population of the world is currently. In either of the envisaged situations in which a society like Asgardia will find itself (state without territory or living in space) the training is just a factor of life. It must begin at birth with explanation and a way of thinking and living. It must continue during maturity with formal education in a lot more than we currently train people in.
OK, now let me look at some of the suggestions you made and see if we can mix and match them to come up with a better idea than both of us have alone. Bear in mind that in the beginning a lot of direction and policy will have to be set by the "founders" (disastrously arrogant term but I think you understand my meaning) so a lot of people might be a bit disappointed and have to make a decision to continue or not. Lets just take that as wrote and say the main direction, the beginning projects needed to create the society and the initial positions of responsibility have been set/appointed etc.
1) Appointment of positions
Say we utilise a lottery style as I suggested to appoint the "ministers". This could also be used to create a "parliament" of people whose job it was to
- attend to, form and put forward proposals from the ideas posted on whatever forum is designated for ideas of such matters of state.
- decide if ideas are in line with the direction and principles of the constitution and society vote decisions. This could be done by a voting system such as you described only not for people but for ideas/projects that affect society as a whole (state projects). Those voted as ok are to be prepared for proposal for referenda.
- put forward changes in policy and law for referenda. This requires the research, formulation and proposal just as is done in any parliament.
- hold and run voting referenda.
- Handle decisions on day-to-day running of the society in line with the populace vote and on-going projects (ie. the overall running of the jobs under the minister)
This would remove the need for campaigning and popular voting. It would also remove the political party system and leave the way open for complete conscience voting on policy. As well if these people are changed in a regular manner the ideas and system don't become either stale or the direction of one person or group. Because the people are chosen at random there is no one group or popular person taking over the direction and getting changes to the system pushed through. They have to work together or the whole society falls out of the sky - literally.
As an aside to that.... if we did have elections for people why in the world would you allow a campaign. Your suggestion of a question sheet they all have to fill out is spot on. Why not have a rule that they all have to write out their policies and fill out that question form and that's it. No campaigning, no money from the public coffers and no additional "personal" money being put in so the rich get to be candidates and others don't get a look in.
I do agree with something in the subtext of your suggestions being, it is probably wise to choose a head of state who has the natural ability to talk to people and has experience and common sense. So electing that person might be a good idea. However no campaign is needed. Just a resume, the question sheet, policy statement and perhaps a couple of public, live interviews. Maybe each candidate gets to go with the incumbent a couple of times to participate in inter-state meetings which are telecast to the populace so everyone can see how well they handled the situations presented to them.
Positions need to be rotated on a staggered system for continuity of projects and work. That is, I don't think it is a good idea to replace all ministries at once as the incoming people would have a period where they are coming up to speed which could impact currently running projects adversely.
Perhaps a person is picked for a position of one ministry and (after training) does a certain time frame in that ministry then rotates through the rest of the ministries as new people are appointed to the old ministry. When they rotate through all ministries they move out of the ministry to a normal job. This might take too, long I don't know. I'm just putting ideas out there.
There should be no privileges attached to any position, no additional salary, no free travel unless on state business, no special life long benefits, no immunity from prosecution no benefits or privileges - it is just a position which needs to be done to keep the society running. The attitude presented should be that we are mature enough to do the job and understand the role.
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