The Aratrum Res Publica
Three days late, but I hope well worth it. Not makeing excuses, but we had major shifts in the weather over the weekend, and the start of this week, and it completely killed me.
So, I present my answer to my own Thought Experiment:
Now remember, this is for a small island nation of about 400K. So it does have a strong central government, with a slightly decentralized administration. We’ll get into that later. Let’s start with…
Article One – The Legatus
I put all the legislative powers into my lower house, or Legatus. It has two representatives from each of the five territories, plus three at-large members.
It can pass laws and regulations, but has no power over the budget. I think, in hindsight, it was likely not a good idea to give the power of making laws and the power of budget to the same group of people.
“A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.”
Currently in the United States, we have full branch of the government that can say: “Vote for me and I will give you generous gifts from the public treasury, and we can make laws to make sure we stick the bill to the rich or your great grandchildren.”
If and when you think about this, it is a horrifing idea. At least I think making laws and control over the budget, should be left to two different groups. While I do encode Herman Cain’s 999 Plan (which I think it is brilliant), I do give them one little check over the budget: A one time nonrefundable income tax credit and power over which items have an examption on retail sales tax. They have to be careful and not give away the farm, so they are going to have to work with the upper house or…
Article Two – The Rector.
Come, I will hide nothing from you. I like how my local county government works. It is like a borad of directors, then choses a manager (with some exceptions) and other people to run the day-to-day operations. However again, they can also pass ordinances and raise or lower taxes. Again, a fundunmental flaw (in my honest opinion).
So, I created the upper house, or the Rector, to have the republic’s executive powers. The have the power of budget, albeit with tight constitutional controls, and the power to delagate day-to-day operations to appointed officers.
Taking a lession from most dicators, I’ve taken the executive head of the government down a noch, and made him and his cabinet answerable to a small group of elected reps. I also give the Legatus a check over this as well.
Article Three – The Supreme Court
A Supreme Court with tight constitutional controls. However I actually think this could be made better. Thoughts on this one?
Article Four – The Five Territories
In which I give the territories some local, administrative control. However they still cannot make laws. They are more or less cities, since they are smallest local government.
Oh, they get 2% of the Personal Income Tax from the 999 Plan.
Article Five – Unalienable Rights
This likely my favorite part. This is our Bill of Rights, slightly expanded and tighten a little. I expand a little on the 1st Amendment and make tight the 2nd Amendment.
I am really knee-capping the government here on some points here, and I love it.
Article Six – Amendments
I make it hard to amend this thing. Not impossible, just hard.
I have never understood what some the US Amendments, amend. There was some debate in 2011 when the House read the US Constitution, which parts they were going to read. It was a petty matter at the time, but one that struck me. So I made it clear that any amendments here will spell out what is added, alter, or repealed.
I also make this article unamendable, for obvious reasons. I made the amending process hard so people can see a bad idea from a long way away. If they want to go forward with the bad, then at least they do it with their eyes open.
Article Seven – Ratifation
Just ratifation. Once this constitution is ratified, this article become rather useless.
So, that is what I would do.
I think the interplay between the Legatus and Rector is rather brailliant, if I do say so myself. You may think it is a horrible idea yourself, but you would not be wrong and I won’t take it personally. I welcome honest criticism and how I can make this better, for even I think it is not complete and likely imperfect.