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Thread: Draft Constitution Part 2_Finals 1

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    Draft Constitution Part 2_Finals 1

    I got in this email which I thought I'd copy here for those that might be interested. The explanation is below and then I've attached the document file for you to read....

    I attach for your comment Part 2 of the Constitution of Scotland Trilogy.
    On this second round robin I believe that there is a need for some covering statements to maintain perspective of intent.

    The intent as with all SDA policies is to have a three stage process and it is crucial when dealing with a draft Constitution for Scotland that there is understanding of why we follow this procedure.

    [a] First we must explain why we need a Constitution - part 1, then
    [b] We formulate a Summarised Constitution which is directed at and can be understood by the general public without the caveats and details required of a document such as will be required in a manner suitable to become the law by an Act of Parliament - Part 2.
    [c] Then in co-operation with others we generate a detailed document which will be formulated for submission as an Act of Parliament and shall then be the Constitution of Scotland - Part 3.

    I will start by re-stating that Part 2 is not the actual Constitution document.

    To clarify the considerable effort which has gone into Part 2 from all concerned - Part 2 is the embodiment of the structure, principles and essence of the proposed Constitution of Scotland written in plain language for the general public to be able to understand and relate to.

    The intent has been to create a proposal which will provide a vehicle to which the general populace can relate to in order to understand the benefits of a written constitution which will provide the people of Scotland with entrenched rights and a government which is significantly more accountable to the electorate.

    The draft content starts with the rights and freedoms of the people - it is likely that these will be added to as the proposals are absorbed and developed after the initial considerable opposition.

    A primary function of this constitution is sharing the power between the executive, the legislature, local government and the people in order to achieve a more even distribution of control, a sense of ownership by the electorate, and wider management of economic growth.

    The summary sets out the division of power and and several levels of accountability.

    A major weakness of the current system is that in the main candidates for election are selected by political parties and the electorate have very little or no input to the process. This has resulted in elected members of poor intellectual competence. It is the opinion of the "author" team that by increasing the accountability of elected members there will be a gradual improvement in quality of our representatives.

    We have went through a process to arrive at our latest proposals. Our original intent was to specify that nominees should be required to have a minimum of five years decision-making management experience. We then considered assessment panels and finally arrived at the conclusion that within the improved process that the general public should be enabled to access all nominees through an expanded system of election hustings. The current system of hustings requires to be expanded such that all nominees who have paid their 500 "Fee" would be required to present themselves for assessment at all hustings. The "CV" of all nominees being posted as at present in local newspapers and would provide relevant details of education, skills and decision-making management experience. In short a working democratic process.

    With our proposals for local government we have been conscious of the fact there at present there is growing pressure for the development of geater fiscal efficiencies; there is also a move to pass management of community assets from local government onto community councils and similiar partnership organisations. A devolving of management as the current local government no longer has the resources to handle non-core services.

    The general statutes were created to enable the electorate to understand that the Constitution covered a wide range of function outwith the rights of the people and the structures of government.

    The footnotes were included to provide additional substance without cluttering up the primary summary articles - in is expected that the general statutes and the footnotes will be incorporated into the detail contained within the specific articles of Part 3.

    We have also addressed in what we consider to be a resposible yet flexible manner the issue regarding monarchy/ republic.

    As always your views and comment will be appreciated.

    On behalf of the author team - Alex, Eck and Bob.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Re: Draft Constitution Part 2_Finals 1

    I might just add that this is a draft and discussions are ongoing which will mean changes. I only posted it up to let you see what is being considered. There will be other drafts as we move to the final document and thought it would be interesting to follow the process.

    For example here is one exchange...

    Constitution proposal says;

    1), "provide democratic government for Scotland by a parliament accountable to the people;"

    Bob, it is very unwise to discount any other form of government, or, in efect 'write-in' only a democratic form of government. You already know Scotland has no premise to function a 'parliamentary sovereignty', (like England ), Scotland agreed the ' Union ' on the basis of retaining its own crown. Therefore, we would have a constitutional monarchy by law, before we could function any other form of government.

    2), "set out the role of the people and their relationship with the state; the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of all citizens; the duties, authorities and limitations on the powers of the state; the provisions for external and internal security and defence of the people and territory of Scotland;"

    Bob, definitely no. We cannot write-into constitution a set of 'subjective rules and roles for Scots citizens; this would be used by totalitarians to horrendous effect.

    3),"provide for a system of parliamentary government"

    Bob, again, we cannot force a constitution to 'do' anything, it is functionally a set of values and ethics we are envisioned to have as a 'dedicated' framework. it ostensibly functions as the last resort of parliamentary process, not the first resort.

    4), "It is the right of all persons in Scotland to live under a democratic system of representative government elected by a qualified and registered electorate."

    Bob, a constitution cannot guarantee 'rights', rights are God-given anyway. If a constitution attempts to 'give' rights, then by default the same constitution can 'take away' those same rights too.

    Bob, from this point on, your constituion is good; it actually points out what very basic assumptions we can assume our rights to be. Well done.

    The here is another exchange...

    Hi Ron, your question is the most profound of all constitutions; that of who qualifies it.

    With most constitutions, especially the American Declaration of Independence 1776, they chose God as the sole arbiter of rights, thus Man cannot give nor take away any rights of Man because they are God-given, inalienable is the term it uses. This usage of God-given, regardless of if you're religious or not, absolutely guarantee's these rights; Franklin, Jefferson, Locke, Rousseau, John Duns Scotus, all these great philosophers seen this point, and as such, used God as the absolute arbiter of The Rights of Man. So you see, it doesn't matter if you believe in God, any god, gods, or statues or anything that can be 'termed' religious, the fact you have taken the 'qualification' of The Rights of Man out of the hands of Man, then you guarantee these rights as inalienable, God-given. To put it another way Ron, our celtic ancestors were very much spiritual before they were assimilated into Christianity, so, if you like, you can look at it like returning your/our archetypal 'faith' and spiritual belief back to your, our, celtic ancestors. They certainly were not wrong in being religious beliefs 2000 years ago, because being religious only means actualy putting your faith in a higher entity; this can be luck, fortune, fate, destiny, God, gods, poetry anything you like, it is still that determination that the higher entity has absolved all qualification from Man. it is the functionable act of 'believing' that is constituted as 'religious'. Why they, our ancestors, did this may come from social perspectives, i.e. as no man is an island, and thus, answerable to 'something'. Maybe even an early form of conscienable, moral social checks and balances; I don't know. But it is a fact beliefs, faith and this ideal of a higher entity has existed from the dawn of time. So what I am saying is that you won't, in any way, be condoning a belief specifically in Christianity by including a word like God-given, or, as the Americans did it, 'inalienable'; it is a time-everlasting function/perception of Man to 'believe' in somethingl even if it's athieism, agnosticism, Christianity, or even luck.

    So as you can see there is an interesting exchange here. It would have been great if we'd also been a fly on the wall when the American Declaration of Independence was drafted.

    I'll try and keep you up to date with this work.

    Alastair

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