“We are not going to destroy your old world at all. We are going to build a new one. You are cruel: you cannot imagine building a new one without destroying the old. And we imagine it very well. We will even help your generation create this paradise of yours, drink and have a snack on your health. Build, Mr. Banev, only build. Do not destroy anything, only build. ”
- A and B Strugatsky, "Ugly Swans"
I conceive this post as a risky experiment. I want to find out if IT people can organize themselves to create an open, free (from the word CDMY0CDMY, not CDMY1CDMY), clean, high-quality "code" using their usual tools (Git, fork, TDD, agile, stackoverflow, abstractions, unit tests etc). Only this “code” is a text that could be a constitution in an alternative reality (or a fantastic story), very close to ours. If you don’t like someone else’s code, write your own.
Are the programmers those who write the script of the future or just those who write the patches for money?
At the same time, we’ll try to compile a knowledge base of the best solutions that have been in the history of constitutions of all time, writing methods and improvements, as well as dark patterns. For example, Iceland's rather instructive case, as they wrote, wrote the wiki constitution, but never wrote. Neither the pots, nor Dad Bjork, nor the fact that there were only 300,000 of them helped.
(I hope that the readers of Habr will be able to react to my idea constructively and will not turn it into a booth. If they do, I will hide the article and complete the "experiment".)
Live topic, continued on @GaaS
"The way is when people achieve the same thoughts as the ruler’s thoughts, when the people are ready to die with them, they are ready to live with them, when they know neither fear nor doubt."
- Sun Tzu
History of constitutions
The social contract theory defines the Constitution as a contract between the population and the state, where the order of state formation and the relationship of the parties are determined.
When did the first constitution appear? Who wrote it and by what mechanisms? How was it enforced?
Copy Magna Carta
First page of the original text of the United States Constitution
The first constitution in the modern sense of the term — that is, a document describing and establishing the separation of powers and competence of each of them — is the US Constitution, ratified by the State of Delaware on December 7, 1787
The first written constitutions on the European continent also include the Constitution of the Commonwealth (adopted on May 3, 1791) and the Constitution of France (adopted on September 3, 1791). Both constitutions did not last long, in the Commonwealth because of the final partition of the country, in France because of the development of revolutionary events.
The Constitution of the Cossacks of Philip Orlik of 1710
Constitutions are drafted and adopted:
- by an extremely convened parliament (constituent assembly) (e.g. Constitution of France, Constitution of Italy 1947, Constitution of Czechoslovakia 1948, Constitution of Yugoslavia 1946, Constitution of Romania, Constitution of Albania 1946, Constitution of Germany 1918, Constitution of Greece, Constitution of Bulgaria, Polish Constitutions of 1920 and 1952, Norwegian Constitution);
- by the regular parliament (for example, the Danish Constitution, the RSFSR Constitution of 1978, the Constitution of the German Democratic Republic of 1968, the Hungarian Constitution of 1949 and 2011, the Polish Constitution of 1997)
- by the Congress of Councils of Deputies (Constitution of the RSFSR of 1918, 1925, 1937)
- by the interim parliament (Constitution of Czechoslovakia 1919, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany 1949, Constitution of the German Democratic Republic of 1949)
- by the people, bypassing the elected bodies (French Constitution of 1958, Russian Constitution of 1993)
- by the head of state (German Constitution of 1871, French Constitution of 1814, Italian Constitution of 1861, Basic Laws of the Russian Empire in 1906);
Constitution of Iceland
From Wikipedia :
The main task on the agenda of the new government was the development of a new constitution. The government made its first attempt to write a constitution right after it came to power. It was assumed that this would take a year, but in the end the case ended in failure, because the citizens did not want to recognize such a constitution as legitimate. Then the government decided to experiment: to make the citizens themselves write a constitution. There is a myth that the draft basic law was written by 950 ordinary citizens, but this is not so. At the first stage of the reform, the National Forum, consisting of 950 people, was really assembled. The forum was formed by drawing lots. He identified the key values and directions of the new constitution. Then 7 professional politicians made a conclusion consisting of 700 pages. To finalize the new Constitution, the Constitutional Assembly was elected, which included 25 citizens. A myth spread on the Internet says that this meeting consisted of housewives, peasants, workers, etc., but in reality the council consisted of seven leaders (universities, museums, trade unions), in addition, five professors and associate professors, four representatives of funds media, four artists, two lawyers, a priest, the father of singer Björk, a prominent trade union leader and just one peasant. Council was to be elected. For this, the candidates collected 30 signatures. 522 people proposed their candidacy. 25 people were elected in a popular election. But in the end, the vote was declared invalid by the parliament, and they appointed the members of the meeting themselves. Further, the revision of the text of the Constitution and constitutional laws began. Each citizen was required to send suggestions by e-mail, Facebook or YouTube and participate in Council discussions, giving comments and recommendations.
In April 2011, the council began work. He had four months to write the draft constitution. Participants gathered daily and worked full time, receiving a salary equivalent to that of parliamentarians. Weekly on a special site the results of their work were published - that is, the draft constitution at different stages of development. It was assumed that the public would evaluate, comment and make suggestions and amendments. The response really was, it came through the site, social networks and other means of Internet communication. The Council received feedback and suggestions, which, according to Torvaldar Gilfason, were carefully considered and taken into account when creating new versions of the project. On October 20, 2012, the main provisions of the new Constitution were approved by referendum. The final point was to be put by parliament, but the document was not adopted in the end.
Interesting IT resources
- Constitute - an indexed and searchable database of all existing constitutions.
- Comparative Constitutions Project - you can compare constitutions even with more parameters (350).
- Google Constitute - a comparison of 160 world constitutions
- A new constitution has been posted on github
- Using software development tools for lawmaking
- Github for governments
- Open Source Legislation
- The German government laid out all laws on the github in machine-readable format
- TED: How the Internet will (one day) transform government