A Better Consitution: A Couple of Theoretical IdeasSubmitted by Tman2000 on Tue, 11/13/2012 - 00:43
This kind of thinking is the most pointless of all possible courses of action to fix our country, but it's fun!
I love thinking of institutional changes to make our country have more liberty.
My big idea is splitting the US into about 10 independent nations with their own foreign policies etc. In order to make it work and prevent schemes that use the disunity as an excuse for centralization, there would be a confederate government.
Basically, a congress would be appointed by the state legislatures which would have the following powers ONLY:
1) setting congress' rules and budget (like, renting out a holiday inn every year to hold session and divying up the budget the states have voluntarily given for these sort of administrative things)
2) determining national emblems and passing symbolic resolutions (important in that it satiates the desire for nationalism without resorting to it)
3) A VETO on foreign policy. That is, if the Nation of New York wants to go to war against Bermuda, congress can block it. Of course, they may anyway, but then at least the other nations won't be targeted for international blowback.
4) The appointing of a national military leadership. Nations would have their own defense forces, but there are times when the entire confederation might want to work together: basic military training, times of war, air and space defense, nuclear deterrent. The confederation would appoint a general staff and organize voluntarily donated Nations' defense forces under them.
Basically, each nation acts independently and exist on a smaller scale. The confederation exists not so much for mutual defense (because basic alliances cover that), but rather as a reflection of the fact that geographic reality makes North America appear as one body/culture from the point of view of the rest of the world, and therefore California, New England, the Dixie Republics, and Deseret might not want New York and the Cincinnati Republic fighting a war against Ontario. The confederation model can also scale down fractally. Towns confederate in regions, regions in states, states in nations, nations in the continent. There would be no need for an international confederation, however, because there is no outside threat (ET) at that scale. The various 'International' nations don't have to represent themselves as a planet to anyone.
Our concept of the philosophy of individual rights is FAR in advance today of what it was at America's founding.
So why not have a government that reflects that?
IF, and I mean IF, there is a philosophical justification for coercive government, then government should be restricted within that justification.
That is, Government may use force in a retaliatory, not initiatory fashion. However, we understand that there must be a system of law in society - a commonly known set of rules. Law is therefore preemptive to the use of force. In civil matters, that's fine, enforcement comes AFTER a crime in response to it. Perfect! Note however, the presence of a court ruling based on due process of law before ENFORCING a punishment.
Now we'll talk about laws and regulations themselves.
Shouldn't a legislature have to have a reason for passing a law? In other words, shouldn't it have to be proven that there's HARM before a law is passed to prevent it. In other words, a due process must be followed to present evidence of need and justification for a law before it could ever be voted on. The opinion of an elected representative alone is not enough.
So carbon taxes would be illegal unless and until a due process of evidence PROVES a reasonable scientific case for the need and utility of said taxes. In addition, justification would also be necessary - i.e.: that global warming would be projected to cause some sort of quantified harm which would require recompense of a quantified amount.
Food labeling - a court proves fraud has actually occurred with false labeling, and further proves that fraud is itself a crime (they could prove that the company put unhealthy ingredients in there, but secondarily they would determine that the fact was clear to consumers so no crime). NEXT the legislature would vote on the bill (maybe government isn't necessary if there are enough private agencies that certify food in light of the scandal).
I don't know how this would work constitutionally, but it seems that a legislature itself should not have any kind of carte blanche to pass laws and every regulation ought to be justified in the same way that occurs in civil and common law.
Anyone have any crazy ideas for government (besides just anarchy, and if so anarchy, any ideas for that - like voluntary militia groups or something)?