Were I to write a Constitution, as a founding document of a country, I’d base it on the US Constitution. It would be clearly stated that the nation would be a secular nation, founded on no one religious doctrine and having no recourse for any religious doctrine to subvert it at a later time.
The rights of the citizenry would be as follows:
~Free speech (with a clear definition of what is free speech and what is hate speech)
~Freedom to assemble (including labor unions)
~Freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances
~Firearm ownership (within limits)
~Freedom of and from religion
~Right to Privacy
~Freedom to refuse to house soldiers
~Protections from self-incrimination and the right to a jury of their peers
~Citizenship is guaranteed if born in the country (or its protectorates)
~Freedom to marry for everyone (M/F, M/M, F/F)
~Freedom of self-expression
~Freedom of self-identification (so long as any changes in id are recorded with the government for tax purposes)
The responsibilities as laid down in the Constitution for every citizen would be:
~Obey all laws
~Defend the country, if attacked (military service would be on a volunteer basis)
~Respect the rights of others
Other “features” of my country:
~Corporations are not people
~No tax exemptions for religious organizations
~Heavy regulation of business to avoid predatory lending and to protect consumers; corporations would operate within the law or their business licenses would be revoked and they would be shut down
~Three parts of government: Legislative (made up of an elected Congress (Senate and House of Representatives), Executive (a President and Vice President, Cabinet, Advisors), Judicial (headed by a Supreme Court). All three branches would check each other and no one branch, be it Legislative, Executive, or Judicial would have more power than any other branch. Proposed laws (in Bill form) are checked through the Senate, the House, and must pass Judicial review to make sure they are constitutional before they are sent to the President for signing or veto. Veto powers would be similar to the US. Any rejection at any point sends the Bill back to Congress for a rewrite. It can be sent back as many times as needed for rewrites before the President sees it.
~President and Vice President serves for four years and can be reelected once for a second four-year term. Senate and House members serve for six years and can be reelected twice for a total of 18 years. Supreme Court Judges are elected for 20 years and can be reelected once for a total of 40 years.
~Establish a Federal minimum wage
~No one is turned away who needs medical attention or legal representation, regardless of the ability to pay.
~The patient and the Doctors involved make all medical decisions, (including abortions), not insurance companies and not the government.
~Everyone gets a college level education, regardless of ability to pay. Higher education (Masters and Doctorates) are paid for by the citizen who wishes to get one.
~Science, not religion, will be the cornerstone of the educational system. Schools will teach a secular education, leaving religious training, if any, to the parents.
I’m sure I can think of a few other things, but this is good, for now.
Just wanted to point out that if you look in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary for the definition of ‘of’, the first definition provided is ‘from’ so they essentially mean the same thing, despite so many people wanting them to mean different things. To be free of something should automatically mean that you have the freedom to choose not to participate at all, not just to choose from what others believe you should pick from.
I mean that’s like saying to a person on a diet that they have to have dessert and may choose pie, cake, ice cream or cookies. They should have the freedom to either refuse dessert altogether or eat a piece of fruit in lieu of the other dessert choices.
Other than that gaffe, what are your thoughts on the substance of the post? Or has that one flaw diminished the whole for you?
Considering that it’s in the current Constitution of this country, I hardly believe it to be a flaw. At least not on the part of the writers of said document. The flaw lies within those who want to interpret wording in such a way as to prove themselves to be more right than someone with whom they disagree.
My only other questions would be about who can run for the office of president. Only people of a certain age? Only people who have prior political experience? Would religious leaders be allowed to run for office? I’m guessing no on the last question, but it’s something that would have to be taken into consideration. How long do you have to live in the country before you can run for that office? What about financing for election stuff? Would you have any rules against this childish mudslinging we’re so fond of in the United States? I quite like France’s idea of giving all candidates equal, but limited time to get their point across without bad-mouthing the other candidates.
“My only other questions would be about who can run for the office of president. Only people of a certain age? Only people who have prior political experience? Would religious leaders be allowed to run for office? I’m guessing no on the last question, but it’s something that would have to be taken into consideration. How long do you have to live in the country before you can run for that office? What about financing for election stuff? Would you have any rules against this childish mudslinging we’re so fond of in the United States? I quite like France’s idea of giving all candidates equal, but limited time to get their point across without bad-mouthing the other candidates.”
In order: 35+ years old; no political experience needed (though it would be helpful, of course); anyone who is a recognized religious leader (ordained minister, father, or iman, for example) wouldn’t be allowed to run, even if they absolve themselves of the title; 1 year minimum until there is a generation born in the country, then natural born only; The last two questions are closely related, so I’m going to answer them together: 1) all campaign financing is open book for every candidate. That is, any citizen, congressional member, government employee, reporter, or whatever must be allowed access to campaign finances. Every cent counted (coming and going) must be reported. Campaign contributions from corporate sources are disallowed and anyone showing such a contribution on their books is immediately disqualified from running in that race and for the next 5 presidential election cycles, (20 years). They are also ineligible to run for Congress or any State level position. 2) Mudslinging: Cite facts only. Any false statements or information manipulation is illegal and can bar you from running. (Same penalty as accepting corporate funds). Attack the position and policies of your opponent, not your opponent him/herself.
Election cycles are every four years and election “season” is the two months (60 days) immediately prior to election day.
“Considering that it’s in the current Constitution of this country, I hardly believe it to be a flaw. At least not on the part of the writers of said document. The flaw lies within those who want to interpret wording in such a way as to prove themselves to be more right than someone with whom they disagree”
By “flaw,” I meant my use of “of and from,”. rather than any commentary on the Constitution itself. (I.e. Does my use of “Freedom of and from religion” mar the entire post for your tastes? But I do get what you are saying. 😉
Ok, am signin up to be your nation citizen 🙂
And you would definitely be welcome, Mizz. Welcome to the House, Mizz. Thanks for visiting and thanks for commenting. Hope to see you around again.
After reading a few posts about the Constitution, I keep wondering if we should have another convention 🙂
I go back and forth about that. Sometimes I wish we could rewrite it and others, I think its fine the way it is. My only problem with calling another convention is if someone would hold the convention indefinitely and use it to declare martial law, effectively ending America as we know it.
I think a lot of people view the constitution like the bible: inviolate and unchanging. Any attempt to change it, or even the barest suggestion of changing it, brings cries of “NO! It’s perfect the way it is!” My view is the constitution should be a living document that changes with the times. If society has changed enough to warrant a change to the constitution, I think it should be done.
Thanks for commenting, Mrs. This One. Good to see you again.
There is no question that we, as a society, have changed (whether we like it or not). The question should be whether we can apply today in terms of what was said a long time ago- and my answer would be yes. But here is the problem, we all have different versions of the truth. Hence why there can be different essays written about the same subject.
You’re welcome. Glad to be seen again 🙂
My only reason for saying that it should change with the times (and, really, it has) is the granting of rights to groups that were not granted such rights in the original document; (womens voting rights, ending slavery, etcetera).
Otherwise, I agree that, at its core, it’s fine the way it is.