A written constitution. To have or not to have, that is the question.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Drifterwood, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. Drifterwood

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    I am not so interested in all the grand thoughts of the enlightened on universality, but as a means to limit the power of politicians and others for the benefit of the people. A statement of law and boundaries to which all are answerable.

    I want one.

    How about you?
     
  2. justasimpleguy

    justasimpleguy Active Member

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    I want one too. Too bad if no one's willing to stand up for what it says it's only a piece of paper.
     
  3. SteveT

    SteveT Active Member

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    How does it make any difference?

    Hitler came to power under a written constitution.

    An extreme example, but it shows that the fact it is in one written document does not make it any more protective of individuals' rights. Zimbabwe has a written constitution. South Africa under apartheid had one.

    It's not whether the constitution is written in one document or not that matters. It's what the constitution says that counts.

    IMHO
     
  4. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    What, the ToS isn't enough for you?
     
  5. Big Al

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    "Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty"

    That quote sums it up very well, and readily explains why our beloved country [the US] is currently in the state that it's in. It seems that a lot of people today (as well as much of TV media) would rather focus far more attention on celebrities and their ridiculous exploits than the very shocking situations currently going on in the world that'll directly affect us in one way or another- and not for the better. Don't get me wrong- entertainment has its place, but it certainly shouldn't take priority over much more important matters.

    Too many of us complain that no one's doing anything about this country's issues. Leaving your hopes for freedom in the hands of politicians hoping they'll do it for you is not the answer. As a citizen, it's your duty to stand up for your constitutional rights by ensuring that your voice is heard- whatever your opinion may be. By staying silent on important matters you can rest assured that your thoughts won't count, and it'll allow those who choose to trample on our Constitution in order to achieve their goals will definitely do so.

    Always remember the most important part of our Constitution:
    "We the People..."
     
    #5 Big Al, Dec 9, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  6. Big Al

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    If you're referring to some kind of global constitution (and not the corrupted version being offered by current organizations), it would likely have to start at the country/state level first. You have to recognize that there's so much collusion and financial hegemony going on on a worldwide scale that this would be unrealistic to expect this to happen from the top down. The powers that be won't take lightly to something like that.

    The likeliest solution would start from the bottom up, and there are a lot of countries whose current political systems make this unviable without some kind of revolution.

    The day that the entire planetary population can agree to true freedom and real human rights would be a glorious day for humanity; but seeing how things are today, we have a very long way to go before this happens- if it ever does.
     
  7. Bbucko

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    The OP is not American, he's British, and the UK doesn't have a written constitution, though it does have a long and rich history of institutionalized rights and freedom protections.

    I think the question going forward is how such rights and protections can remain without some verifiable, written document to back them up, with a sub-topic concerning the degree to which they have already been eroded precisely because of the lack of codification.

    My two shillings: I personally think that without a constitution the average British subject trusts perhaps too blindly in such quintessential concepts as "fair play", especially as the populations of the Isles become increasingly diverse and fragmented.

    And although I'm no scholar of British history, I'd say that the UK's culture has become increasingly Americanized since WW2, most especially since 1960. As such an increasing proportion of the electorate there sees a wisdom in the American system and wishes to emulate (and no doubt improve on) it; this evolution is influenced by the anxiety provoked by the UK's involvement in the EU, its own internal politics and by the internet.

    But how would the UK choose to deal with such fundamental issues as an inherited peerage (aristocracy) headed by a monarch, and that person's fundamental role in the national Anglican faith? Can all people be seen as being born equal when their traditions insist that a tiny minority is born in an elevated condition?

    What would a British constitution even look like?

    //Edited to add: a "World Constitution" is Star Trek stuff and utopian, therefore not realistic.
     
    #7 Bbucko, Dec 9, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  8. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Unfortunately for us, some people mistake paranoia for vigilance.
    Instead of using any sense of rational adult-like thinking, they use their own fears as a catalyst to disseminate their own logically inadequate inquisitions on others. They preach a sermon of venomous distort that is about as untrustworthy as the voices they want to drown out... but cover their actions with moralistic prolixity about days of old and use colorful names to suggest their actions are noble and true. People who truly trust nothing will eventually do nothing, especially since they can't even be honest with themselves.

    It's not a question of writing laws so that everyone adheres to them because in theory we all. The only difference is that some people have access to other tools to get around some of them. Any person who is seeking power, especially in a financial or political sense, are searching for that ability to some degree. Whether or not they will abuse that privilege once they've obtained it is another story.
     
  9. SteveT

    SteveT Active Member

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    Well, you answer your own question. If the UK had a single document written constitution (at the moment) it would say something like: "The Head of State shall be the most direct descendant of [whoever was king or queen when it was written] and he or she shall be Governor of the Church of England".

    It's tempting to assume that the UK's present constitution flows from it not being contained in a single document written constitution. It does not. It has as much to do with the fact that we have not been conquered since 1066 and have not had a revolution. (Yes, there was a revolution of sorts in 1649 when we executed Charles I, but we soon went back to what we had deposed).
     
  10. midlifebear

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    First, Big Al's quote of "Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty" is why, I've always believed, knowing electronic engineers invented the television remote control.

    Second, everything Bbucko posted and then some.

    Third, an amusing perspective on a written constitution can be found reading the recent history of Milanesia. Once the natives of those coral reefs wrested back control of their scattered Pacific islands from the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific (a remnant of riches from WWII), they hired the best brains in the business to help them write a modern constitution that addressed the problem of a Post Industrial State that never had to suffer through the Industrial Era. Quite amusing (and alarming) reading. Do a google.
     
  11. Drifterwood

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    I appreciate all the posts and have read and reread them.

    I would leave the Queen alone, but give Chuck the choice of Church or State. I don't think he'd need too long to decide State. I like the idea of having an independent as head of State. Other constitutions that previous posters have held up to be flawed have suffered from not having an independent (or strong) head of State.

    Why does everyone forget our Glorious Revolution? Maybe because it was such a quiet and frankly rather British affair. Ultimately, our Monarchy is a backstop.

    And regarding our "aristocracy", they are all but gone, the ones that remain relevant are there by merit as much as anything. Some others may act like they are still something but really they are not. You'll have to take my view on that as I know quite a few.
     
  12. TomCat84

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    Can all people be seen as being born equal when their traditions insist that a tiny minority is born in an elevated condition?<

    BINGO!
     
  13. Bbucko

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    I'm sorry, darling. Are you referring to the reforms instituted by Cromwell or Gladstone? I understand a bit more of British history than might be immediately obvious.

    At any rate, I was taught that the (American) revolution was fought against the crown and not the parliament. Perhaps my education was biased?

    If given to a referendum (perhaps similar to the civil rights of GLBT Americans?) I would presume that Chuck would gladly be handled all the Church he might desire, but perhaps not so much the State: just my guess, though I might well be mistaken as to the wishes of British subjects (not citizens...so very French).

    As to the peerage: I'll take your word for it. The only ones I can name off the top 'o' me head are celebs.
     
  14. Drifterwood

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    The Glorious Revolution of 1688

    The Revolution would have technically been fought against the Crown. The Crown still is the ultimate seal of State, people are prosecuted by the Crown and our military(officers) swear to the Crown.

    I am sure that Parliament would want to push Charles to the poison chalice of religion, but I would want a backstop to Government.

    People are never born equal, in any country, and having a title in the UK has become a very far second to ability in the last thirty years. Landed assets do not produce the sort of revenue that an upper class life demands (unless you are one of the few remaining with substantial estates), the relative cost of things like private education has doubled, and our tax system (mainly death duties) means that unless you are adding substantially to wealth, you will go backwards every generation. Finally the huge old family etates cost a fortune to maintain. All these things have done for many aristos who can't keep ahead of the game.
     
  15. HazelGod

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    I'd like ours fixed, thank you very much.
     
  16. cock23

    cock23 New Member

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    To anwser the original question: not to have.

    My reasons:

    1) A written Constitution doesn't 100% guarantee anything. Places like Iraq and Afghanistan have written Constitutions and look how that's helped them. (Not very much).

    2) A written Constitution isn't flexible. This means that it can't easily be ammended. (Hence why the "right to bear arms" is still embedded in the US Constitution and isn't going to be taken out anytime soon, and why you have a situation where any old nutter can buy a gun and go on a public shooting spree). So if you become unhappy with something 10 odd years down the line that's been put in the Constitution that's tough, as much more likely than not it will be staying. (Out of hundreds of amendments proposed for the US Constitution, only 26 have gotten through in over 200 years)

    3) A written Constitution doesn't cover everything, won't keep everyone happy/won't help everyone and it tends to be a rather vague document, meaning it's up to people to interpret it, and it is difficult to come to an agreement. For example, it says that "cruel and unusual punishments" are banned under the US Constitution, but plenty of people in the US consider capital punishment to be "cruel and unusual" while many others do not. To date, there is still no agreement about this issue. (And many others, such as abortion).

    4) Ultimately, our system works fine so it's a case of "It ain't broke, why fix it?". I feel it would be better to instead reform the current system we have in the UK while imposing radical changes like introducing a written Constitution.
     
  17. HazelGod

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    Fucking moron. :rolleyes:

    The public's right to bear arms is the reason you assclowns can't claim us as a colony any longer...the amendment is in place to guarantee that never changes, regardless of the sillynannies who're so quick to equate firearm ownership with nuttery.

    And yes, you can change your mind and take something back out if you decide, as we did in the early 1930s, that it was a stupid idea to have put it in. Or you could learn from our mistake and not try to legislate against "vices."
     
  18. cock23

    cock23 New Member

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    Ooooh, I've hit a Republican's nerve. :eek:

    Ok not being a colony is all well and good, but that point isn't relevant today as the likelyhood of Britain claiming America is about as likely as the moon dropping out of the sky. The other reason why everyone was given the right to bear arms was because there was lots of dangerous wild animals walking around, as well as hostile Indians coming in to kill people from time to time....do you think that's still the case now? Or do you believe that Britain might still invade in a year or two like people did back then?

    In modern times it makes no sense for every single member of the American public to own a gun without any sort of special license, because the reasons the public were given that right in the first place are now largely irrelevant.

    And by the way you'l find that on the whole you can't ammend the Constitution or take things back. There have been many hundreds of amendments proposed, but since 1787 only 26 have gotten through. (And the first 10 are the "Bill of Rights", so that technically doesn't count). That doesn't make it a very flexible system, does it?
     
  19. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    He's not a Republican, cock23. Strike two. :rolleyes:
     
  20. eurotop40

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    From the land of the minaret ban:
    Federal Constitution
    of the Swiss Confederation

    of 18 April 1999 (Status as of 17 May 2009)
    Preamble
    In the name of Almighty God!
    The Swiss People and the Cantons,
    mindful of their responsibility towards creation,
    resolved to renew their alliance so as to strengthen liberty, democracy, independence and peace in a spirit of solidarity and openness towards the world,
    determined to live together with mutual consideration and respect for their diversity,
    conscious of their common achievements and their responsibility towards future generations,
    and in the knowledge that only those who use their freedom remain free, and that the strength of a people is measured by the well-being of its weakest members;
    adopt the following Constitution
    etc.
    SR 101 Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation
     
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