Cap 02, 02 / Dec 4, 18 07:28 UTC

Citizenship Act, 2018 (0002) is illegal and counter to the Constitution  

Dear Space Kingdom of Asgardia,

The Citizenship Act, 2018 (0002)(Henceforth "The Act") contains a clause that requires citizens to pay a 100 Euro citizenship fee in order to retain citizenship(Section 10). As such, anyone who does not earn 100 Euro per year, or can afford to spare 100 Euro per year, is unable to be an Asgardian citizen.

The Constitution, however, states numerous times, a focus on equality, stating in Chapter 1, item 4: "All citizens of Asgardia are equal, irrespective of their Earthly country of origin, residence, citizenship, race, nationality, gender, religion, language, financial standing, or any other attribute." (Emphasis mine).

So the The Act is already in conflict with the Declaration of Unity of Asgardia.

Furthermore, Chapter 4, Article 13, item 10 of the Constitution states "[...]The tax system and preferential tax terms, including voluntary taxation of the private persons, shall be set by Asgardia’s laws." (Emphasis mine). Though this may seem like Asgardia's laws decide how taxation is handled, the constitution specifies the taxation is to be "Voluntary". No matter how much one might claim that the Citizenship fee in The Act is voluntary, it is clear that this fee is not voluntary, as failure to pay results in the removal of citizenship. The cost of not complying is clearly on par with punishment, and as such, the fee is not voluntary.

Article 34, item 8 of the Constitution states "All Asgardian revenue and expenditure shall be included in the budget and be balanced. Meeting the needs of Asgardia’s administrative bodies and governmental enterprises shall not overload taxpayers[...]" (Emphasis mine) furthermore reinforcing that The Act is illegal, at least in part. Because it is inarguable that an annual fee (which I would argue falls under tax), which is more than a citizen of the less financially fortunate persuasion can afford, does not constitute overloading the taxpayer.

There are more locations where The Act works counter to the Constitution. However I believe this should suffice as proof that The Act is illegal, and should be revised, or at the very least, an investigation into the legality of The Act needs to be performed.


This is an open letter to the government of Asgardia, written by a disappointed citizen.

Yours, sincerely,

Alexander Kleven

(If anyone is aware of a more direct location I can send this letter, please do inform me.)

Cap 02, 02 / Dec 4, 18 16:22 UTC

Asgardia,

Alexander has several good points. As someone who specializes in Documentation on a regular basis, I know the importance of removing all perceived discrepancies.

At it's simplest form -- it is understood that the Constitution reigns supreme as far as Asgardian laws go. The recently adopted "Act on Acts" also confirms this.

It is clear that the verbiage in the Citizenship Act is in direct contradiction to the verbiage in the Constitution in at least one place.

The Citizenship Act needs to be amended with clearer and consistent verbiage that is not in direct conflict with the Constitution. 


Although, I personally, have no problem paying the fee, and can see it from more than one perspective, as someone who thrives on clear definitions, I can clearly see how the verbiage in the Citizenship Act is in directly conflict with the Constitution. 


That is the issue ladies and gentlemen. 

If it is true, what the Constitution states "[...]financial standing[...]" (and it appears that it is), then citizenship status itself, should not be revoked or suspended if the fee is not paid.

Instead, consider revoking or suspending the credential (residency card) that recognizes the citizenship status.

That is currently the course of action in most Earth Nations.

I believe there would be more wiggle room for this matter, if the constitution has different language. However, because it does not, I believe Asgardia needs to rectify this.


Perhaps Supreme Justice Prof. Zhao could weigh in?


Sincerely,

Misty Bledsoe

Cap 03, 02 / Dec 5, 18 13:37 UTC

That would address the inconsistencies with the financial wording, but it would not solve the inconsistencies with the parts that address equality, as a flat fee will discriminate heavily against people with low income. I reckon the problem is deeper than simply the wording of it all.

Cap 03, 02 / Dec 5, 18 15:06 UTC

I agree. But I also know that by forcing the verbiage to be reconciled, it should, in the process (theoretically) force the resolution of the intent and behavior after the fact.

I think we're in agreement, just tackling it from different angles.

Cap 03, 02 / Dec 5, 18 22:59 UTC

Fair enough =). By the way, if anyone who reads this letter wishes to share it, go right ahead! The more people read it, the better chance it has to get to the right people I reckon!

Aqu 01, 03 / Jan 1, 19 02:17 UTC

Dear Kamica and Misty.

Earth countries do  suspend citizenship of their citizens  Asgardia is not new or even unique in this.

For example in Australia's law on citizenship, it clearly states that citizenship can be revoked, if a person could attain another country's citizenship, even though they have not exercised that option yet.  (section 17 of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 )

Your question on "financial" equality

As someone who also specializes in documentation on a regular basis, I also know the importance of not reading parts of sentences in isolation.

You have to read the constitution in it's totality, but especially the two paragraphs below:

Chapter 1, Par 3 - Anyone can become a citizen of Asgardia, conditional on assenting to the Declaration, and abiding by the Constitution and the legislation of Asgardia.

Chapter 1, Par 4 -All citizens of Asgardia are equal, irrespective of their Earthly country of origin, residence, citizenship, race, nationality, gender, religion, language, financial standing, or any other attribute.

You first have to become a Citizen, before the equality part comes into play.  

It sounds brutal, but you cannot claim protections as a citizen of a country under it's citizen laws, unless you are a citizen already.

In Asgardia, at this point in time, you have to pay a Citizenship Fee of 100 Euros  as part of the requirements set out by the Citizenship Law of Asgardia  just like mentioned in Chap 1 Per 3 of the Constitution.

Aqu 01, 03 / Jan 1, 19 02:26 UTC

The voluntary tax system mentioned:

The actual wording is :

Chapter 3, Article 9 Par 5 : Asgardian citizens shall pay voluntarily established taxes and levies in accordance with Asgardia’s laws.

Shall pay voluntary is the key words here.

It is not the taxes and levies that are voluntary, or even a choice of if you want to pay or not, no it is the method of payment that is voluntary.

This is the same Tax system as  used in the USA and many other countries.

At a prescribed period, you will voluntarily determine the taxes you owe the state, and pay those taxes by submitting a form and payment. You are not forced to do this.

This does not mean that you can refuse to pay taxes, as soon as you voluntary stop paying your taxes, legal and criminal mechanisms come into play  one of which could be to loose citizenship as per Constitution:

Chapter 3 Article 9 Par 4 : Asgardian citizens shall comply with Asgardia’s Constitution and laws, respect and implement its Supreme Values irrespective of their location unless this results in violation of the law of the State in which they are located.

Chapter 3 Article 9 Par 10 :Failure to perform citizenship obligations or failure to perform them properly may lead to permanent revocation of Asgardian citizenship, suspension of Asgardian citizenship, fines, and restriction on and/or permanent revocation of .... etc.

I hope this helps clear things up.

Aqu 01, 03 / Jan 1, 19 02:29 UTC

I hope you see now that there is nothing illegal in the Citizenship Act passed that contradicts the Constitution as per your suggestions.  

Aqu 01, 03 / Jan 1, 19 10:54 UTC

That's interesting information, thank you. I looked the subject of voluntary taxation up (rather quickly, with my phone) and found this: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/is-income-tax-voluntary/

Aqu 01, 03 / Jan 1, 19 19:56 UTC

Richards.. wow .. that is a great find.  Thanks for sharing it really explains the misconceptions around "voluntary".

Have a great day.

Aqu 09, 03 / Jan 9, 19 22:20 UTC

1. I'm aware that Citizenships can be revoked, that is not the issue here.

2. Since I was one of the first 100 000, my first fee is waved, as such, I am (or will soon become) a Citizen. However, I will unlikely be able to pay the 100 Euro Citizenship fee, as such, I will lose my citizenship because I am in a disadvantageous financial situation. Therefore, I am being discriminated against on financial grounds.

3. Law makers can write down voluntary all they want, but that doesn't make it so. I can assure you that, if you were to ask any random person on the street whether they would consider this "voluntary" fee, truly voluntary, and not just an act of ass covering, then I can almost guarantee you they will say "That's not voluntary".

4. The given example of "Voluntary taxation" and what Asgardia appears to attempt to do, are quite different, and I don't really see how they are comparable?

5. This still does not address the part where it states "All Asgardian revenue and expenditure shall be included in the budget and be balanced. Meeting the needs of Asgardia’s administrative bodies and governmental enterprises shall not overload taxpayers[...]". A flat yearly fee is going to, guaranteed, overload certain less well off tax payers. A main part where the fee differs from taxation in other nations, is that with taxation, you can avoid taxation by not engaging in the monetary economy, if you are completely self-sufficient, you do not need to pay tax. A fee however, regardless of how self-sufficient you are, regardless of how little of the Asgardian infrastructure you use, you will pay that fee. And that fee disproportionately affects poorer individuals, because it is a higher percentage of their income.

Which in turn means that a flat fee is discriminatory towards those less financially fortunate, thus again, breaking the constitution.

Aqu 10, 03 / Jan 10, 19 09:26 UTC

Sorry, I do not see in the constitution where is says that Citizenship can be stripped. I do understand that citizenship can be conditional on the payment of this fee, however when we became citizens, there was no fee. Therefore, we have been granted citizenship previously. Stripping citizenship due to failure to pay taxes is NOT possible under the current constitution. Fine, put us in space prison, however you cannot simply arbitrarily strip us of our citizenship.


Alternatively, all the past elections are null and void as the votes where cast by non-citizens.


From a legal perspective, it is one or the other. We are either citizens OR the elections were bogus.

Aqu 18, 03 / Jan 18, 19 16:34 UTC

I'm sad I have really been excited being a citizen of asguardia. Now due to my finances I'm going to not be a citizen anymore. Just a follower



Aqu 25, 03 / Jan 25, 19 01:24 UTC

Me too sad

I am poor and in my country this money of citizenship tax is worth much more than in the European economy

I am sadder to know that I will not be able to obtain the economic benefits of Asgardia, which will be destined only to citizens

Aqu 26, 03 / Jan 26, 19 08:18 UTC

All of you who are saddened, please, please, e-mail your representatives, find out who they are, what their e-mails are etc. and send them a mail, so they can hear of how unfair this is!