I'm tired of everyone arguing. Honestly, if we set aside our petty differences and ignore religion then we're all basically arguing the same points. In order to prove it I am creating this thread with one rule: no religion. I will report anyone who abuses this here... go post in some religious fanatic forum set up for that.
I want to create the Ideal Country here!! It's up to us to write the constitution and bring the ideal nation to life. Put your good ideas here about how you would create a country, and we'll all discuss.
So far I have the following excerpt that I was adding to another post when I got this thread idea...
We will have the following laws:
1) Laws must be written in common English so that all may understand
2) Laws cannot obscure their intension with flowery language or massive amounts of text
3) All new laws passed by government must be on their own separate bills.
4) Politicians that demonstrate that they do not have the best interest of the country in mind, or who commit treasonous acts or violations against the general population over which they rule will be tarred, feathered, and paraded around the country without food or water. Once they finally succumb to dehydration and are close to death, then they will be shot and their head put on a pole in a specially designated area outside the capitols parlament building where all the other politicians have to walk by it every day as a reminder of their commitment to the just governance of the [country] and it's people.
Any more ideas people? I have tons, but not enough time to write them all at once. Be proactive about what you want to see happen in a country, and remember nothing is impossible. If you want to see it happen then write it here. It's somewhere to start fixing these huge problems I see in the world, and better than all the lame arguing that only continues to distract the American people from the fact that it's probably a good time to rewrite government from the ground up.
Feel free to add, and remember I will do everything in my power to keep this thread on topic and that includes reporting all religious posts and subject matter posted here. There is a place for that, and this is not it.
What fun is there if one can't argue politics? If everyone is going to agree, how is progress possible? At least in the US there are two parties, so the one can act as a check on the other, but if there were only one party and everyone agreed with its policies, how would people be motivated to change and grow?
I'll add a few:
-Strict limitation of government powers.
-Strict separation of government powers, with checks and balances.
-Strong bill of rights.*
-Strict separation of economic and government powers (ie, keeping money out of politics)
*Some rights I'd list:
>Expression (speech, print, electronic, et cetera) (Always free to express yourself, yet can still be held accountable for the tangible results of your expression.) (includes the right to not express yourself if you choose not to.)
>Religion (to include separation of church and state)
>Assembly and association (however, some reasonable restrictions may be placed on time and location of assemblies, not to exceed _____ distance and time; for example, a funeral could request no protests nearby.)
>Freedom of action (protects otherwise legal actions from becoming illegal by police order -- ie, cannot be charged with resisting arrest, disobeying police order, defending self against police unless also charged and convicted of another crime.)
>Limited privacy (government, companies, and individuals not allowed to snoop into places you expect to be private, such as your home, your computer, et cetera... No protection of privacy in public places.) (Includes protection against unwarranted search)
>Property rights (eliminates eminent domain, protects against unwarranted seizure) (forces all taxes to be voluntary -- which is possible, see: fairtax) (includes protection against forced labor, as one's labor is considered to be one's property, and forcing one to use it constitutes seizure of this property) (Also, any warranted property seizures must be directly donated to the poor or disadvantaged; the government may never keep seized property. ie, if city police seize a gang member's SUV, that SUV will be donated to a single mother in the ghetto, NOT kept by the city.)
>Expedient trial, by jury of peers. (Also, right to confront accuser, right to legal representation, right to public trial (any of which can be waived, if chosen by the accused.))
>Legal system abuse protection (no double jeopardy, cannot be accused of treason in peace time, cannot be forced to self-incriminate, no excessive bail, no cruel/unusual punishment)
>Informed decisions (government should conveniently provide, or force companies/idividuals to provide accurate information about decisions that individuals are expected to make.)
>Self-determination (right to harm self, as long as it does not hurt others, which would include things like legalizing most drugs and eliminating seatbelt/helmet laws.) (also protects actions taken between consenting adults, subject to the same restriction of not harming others)
>Self-defense (Any action taken in legitimate self-defense is legal; (qualified) citizens are allowed to take any/all of the same preparatory measures for self-defense that law enforcement officers do -- ie, it is legal to acquire any tools/weapons/training that any police force in the nation uses.) (however, it is acceptable to require reasonable levels of training in the use of such tools, and individuals proven to not be responsible enough may be denied them.) (Any force used against citizens of the country will be considered law enforcement force, so if the government uses tanks/jets/nukes on its citizens, the citizens are then authorized to acquire their own tanks/jets/nukes.)
>Travel (Citizens will not be prevented from traveling throughout the country, or prevented from leaving the country. Certain exceptions apply, such as quarantines and prohibited areas.)
>Immigration (All persons must be allowed entry or charged with a (non-border-crossing-related) crime upon crossing the border into the country. Persons desiring citizenship may not be denied, and must be processed expediently; no more than 30 days of waiting time.) (Any illegal immigrants already in country will be considered to have legally crossed the border at the moment that this constitution is ratified.)
>Anti-Discrimination (protects against unreasonable discrimination on the basis of religion, sexual preference, and any condition that was not acquired by individual choice.)
>Asylum (Any individual may choose to leave the country rather than be subjected to any law of the country: IF there is another country that will accept him/her.)
>Whistle-blower protections (No citizen may be punished for attempting to expose corruption. Citizens who successfully prove and expose corruption are entitled to substantial reward.)
>Waived rights protection (cannot be required to waive any enumerated right in order to exercise another -- ie, cannot be required to waive the right to privacy in order to exercise the right to travel.)
>Permanent rights (These enumerated rights cannot be removed or changed in a way that reduces them. Ever.)
That strikes me as just a bit too extreme.
Permanent removal from power and a public announcement should suffice.
(And in this model, who decides if a politician has crossed the line or not?)
Too often the actions of politicians these days should be considered treasonous because of the damage that is done by their actions in office. I think sufficient evidence must be brought forward, and I'm not saying all politicians are bad, but the ones who should be shot probably know they've done some really wrong things. The system we are in is upside down an imploding with corruption.
There's nothing wrong here... we must build the ideal nation together! Ocalhoun has already got a lot of our work cut out for us! All good material
PS. I guess maybe you misunderstood my statement, Dean. It's not that everyone agrees, but that fundamentally so many ideals are exactly the same that we should be able to tack this down fairly effectively.
PPS. Do you guys boycott polls or something? Did I not get that memo?
*adding a couple new additions to the rights*
Well, yes, many, if not most, politicians are doing horrible things.
However, they should still be afforded the protections due to any other citizen. Once you make an exception for one group 'because they're really really bad', it sets a precedent for making exceptions for other groups.
A good solution would be to make impeachment trials easier to initiate and pursue. (Still subject to the double jeopardy restriction though.) There needs to be a balance between being easy to initiate (to hold politicians accountable) and difficult to initiate (to prevent them all from being bogged down in endless frivolous impeachment proceedings). As it stands now, I think the balance should be moved a bit closer to the easy side.
The poll options were too simplistic and limited.
The truth is that there are times when it is necessary to 'start over', and there are times when this is not warranted, and the system should be fixed from within.
The rule of thumb being that if it is possible to fix from within, do so, but when it becomes realistically impossible, 'starting over' is the correct choice.
For me most important would be as little Government as possible, no taxes, i.e. all services are fee based. Congress and the Senate by Videoconference instead of having to fund all the representatives and their families living in Washington DC. Simplify security so that one only has one department where everyone is on the same page. As much as separating the State and Religion, there should also be a separation of the State and Business. No conflict of interest allowed. I like Ocalhoun's suggestion for taxes as being a straight percentage of income with only one exemption to allow for those who don't earn much. I'd add to that that no double taxation be allowed, i.e. taxing both corporations and dividends from stocks is fraudulent.
This is also already a provision of FairTax... The idea that things should only be taxed once.
(Which is why the tax is only applied on retail sales; the sale of raw materials to a factory is not taxed, just as the resale of used items is not taxed.)
I was under the knowledge that racketeering was to be avoided by the government -- re issue the memo, as congress apparently didn't get that one.
Yes, it's a two way tie! 50% say "start over with government" and 50% say "fix the old one", but there's one thing they both agree on and that is that the old government has got to go!! (the art of polling)
So, post any and all inclusions here and we will begin drafting a new nation from the bits!
We need a new word for "Constitution" cause that's been done! Any ideas? Manifest -- does that work?
I figure we can replace the "Declaration of Independence" with a "Declaration of Sovereignty" since our goal is not political separation from Great Britain.
Can't go with Contract. That word is even more over-used in our legislation than "constitution" (and you know what... that's really a sad thought)
The art of polling is right.
But this isn't exactly a masterpiece.
If all of your poll options are variations of 'replace the government' then of course all the responses will be variations of 'replace the government'.
I think I've added enough for now... If I'm going to write a whole constitution for a hypothetical nation, I'll do it in a separate thread, so I can get good feedback about it.
What's wrong with the word 'constitution'?
Sure, it's been done before... And it will be done again.
Why invent a new word when the current word fits perfectly?
I thought this was a 'hypothetical ideal country' thread... not a 'plan the revolution' thread...
hence why we can't use the "Declaration of Independence" because I'm not necessarily talking about the US either. I think creating the Ideal Country should happen independently of all countries, and after we've decided the best setup for a government, then we can start thinking about where to apply it.
Where to apply it is not a consideration here. Creating the Ideal is, however, the goal. I plan to write all the good stuff that you guys contribute down into a formal document(s). If it's good and well-rounded then I will publish it. If it's a total failure then at least we can say we tried!
Keep adding as I haven't come back to this topic for formalization yet, but I will!
PS. The whole idea of this thread is that the Ideal Country does not exist. The poll is merely a suggestion that most people hold the idea that our government has failed, or is in process of failing, here in the US. At the very least MOST people hold the notion that the US government has much room for improvement.
Aw... Now I have to do it...
I think I will procrastinate about it some though. It's a lot of work to make a well thought-out and carefully worded constitution. ... And besides, lately I've been reading about all the different forms of anarchism, which may change my political views a little bit.
(Already, a detailed look has made me much more willing to drop the (now tainted) 'libertarian' label and think of calling myself an anarchist. They have some interesting theories that lead one to believe that an anarchist society could work even with imperfect citizens. Voluntaryism in particular looks promising, though I haven't gotten to that part yet, so I don't know the details.)
Interesting first premise, no religion. You have no room or tolerance for religion in your new world order utopia. Good luck with that.
Religion should be talked about, not ignored.
Exactly... do it here! Just add your constitution post, and edit it as we go along. I think we should call it the "Foundation Document" just to get away from the old terminology that was used on our existing government with "declaration of independence" and "constitution". No one speaks like that any more, and I want our government documents written in common English, not High Speak or, god forbid, political non-speak. There needs to be a push for clear verbiage and simple explanations. Do away with the "worthier than thou" mentality in creating legal documents.
Plane English! No legalese!
Oh, no, that won't do at all.
You see, based on some recent research of mine, I'm thinking that it will actually be very novel and controversial... I'll want a dedicated thread for the comments about it; it might completely derail this one.
I'm actually thinking something along the lines of 'articles of federation'.
Spoiler alert: I haven't finished my research yet, but I'm thinking of something along the lines of a 'government' in triplicate; an outer shell that deals with other nations, many anarchistic co-ops and communes within that shell (called 'charters'*), and a 'federation' to smooth over interactions between the various charters.
...The idea of this tiered system of government being that individuals would be largely insulated from any (involuntary) interaction with the government.
*Charters can be as small as one individual, or as large as a city.
I agree with you about the plain English, with two qualifications:
1- What is plain today will almost certainly be seen as archaic and difficult to interpret a few hundred years later.
2- Careful wording is required, or in the future, lawyers might twist the wording to mean something other than what was intended; just look at some of the games they play with the USA's constitution, quibbling about the slightest turn of phrase in ways that may affect the whole country.
What grade level should the verbiage be dumbed down too?
Should fairness doctrine limitations be imposed on free speech?
How would this not be sedition?
I would say not because it's slightly larger than just red vs. blue. I don't intend talking about the "Ideal Nation" to have a destructive effect on our current nation of residence, but instead intend to create a proving ground where experimentation can occur that would stand a chance of improving government as we know it.
I love Ocalhoun's idea of multi-tiered government. I've been thinking about that for a long time too. Adding checks and balances to our checks and balances, so to speak. At any rate I think you are on to something good, and if we get government 2.0 out of the deal then you have my blessing to start your own topic on this subject as well.
Oh, no... there would be quite a lot needed.
Somewhat paradoxically, although the government model I'm brewing up involved anarchist elements, it actually builds up into a highly complex model... and each part of that model needs to be defined and placed under carefully thought out restrictions.
Not so much a meta-level of checks and balances really, although those would still be involved, of course.
The real idea is to insulate actual people from the government, so that they need not interfere with each other... To create stateless bubbles within a state, in one way of looking at it, where people who don't want state interference can be safe from it.
As an aside, one idea I had today was for a judicial punishment system... In 99% of cases*, the worst punishment available would be banishment, either to another country that will accept the convict, or to self-sufficient, non-charter compounds within the country**. Banishment could be temporary or permanent, depending on the crime, and depending on the convict's attitude about reintegrating with society. Charters would be able to banish individuals from the charter, but only the federation would be able to banish individuals from the country.
*the 1% of cases where this is not adequate would mostly be people who serially disobey the banishment order, and require additional coercion to enforce their banishment.
**These compounds would be true anarchy -- no government, no law, no public services. The banished people there would thrive or wither based entirely on their own choices, without harming the nation around them. Effort would be made to place these in inescapable, yet hospitable places, but the bulk of enforcement would be through the use of ankle bracelet trackers and the like... or perhaps RFID chips injected, which would set off an alarm when they cross the border of the banishment zone. These areas would be permitted to trade with outside areas, but not allowed to travel to these places, and not protected by intra-national trade laws.
Well, writing a constitution in simple, easy-to-understand verbiage doesn't require any limitation of the freedom of speech... It only requires that you write simply when making it.
Nothing needs to be imposed; it's just a suggestion in writing style for one document.
You are correct, Ocalhoun. It's just important to move away from legalese, or text written in such flowery language that the meaning becomes lost, or buried in so much garbage text that someone tries to sneak in "oh, and limit free speech" right at the end so they can pass their real agenda to remove our rights once everyone is thoroughly confused by trying to grasp meaning in the first 30 or 3000 paragraphs depending on how far they buried their agenda items.
I think it's also important to vote on each individual idea/law/amendment. I think it should be illegal to take opposing ideas together on one bill which produces good laws being dropped because a bad law was tacked on, or it also prevents a bad law being passed because a good law was tacked on to it. This idea is criminal to me, and I think congress should do jail time for these shenanigans.
At least a week in solitary for putting two unrelated ideas on one bill! If that doesn't work then we'll upgrade the punishment to one month solitary confinement without food! I call it the congressional diet -- trimming the fat!