CONSTITUTION OF NEW ATTICA
We the Citizens of New Attica, in order to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for New Attica as its supreme law, deriving its just authority from the law of nature and the consent of the governed.
Provisions Subject to Amendment
1.1 The Government of New Attica
1.1.1 The Government of New Attica shall consist of a Federal Administration and a number of Virtual Cantons.
1.1.2 If the territory of New Attica is held on a long-term lease from another nation, the contracting lessee shall be the Federal Administration.
1.1.3 The Citizens of New Attica shall be any persons who, being competent, shall have signed and assented to this Constitution.
Citizenship carries with it the right to vote and eligibility for public office, which are denied to non-Citizens; it carries with it also the liability to taxation by the Federal Administration and by the Citizen's Virtual Canton, from which liability non-Citizens are exempt. Thus the Government of New Attica is a voluntary cooperative association, with free exit and entry, and taxation is thus likewise voluntary, being conditional on Citizenship. Citizens may renounce their Citizenship at any time, and reclaim it later as they choose.
No competent person shall be barred from Citizenship. Criminal conviction shall not remove the rights, nor public office the responsibilities, of Citizenship.
1.1.4 Every Citizen shall have the right to launch a popular initiative calling for a national referendum to recall the President of New Attica or any member of the Negative Council, or to repeal any law, practice, or policy of the Government, exclusive of the provisions of this Constitution, by majority vote; a petition by not fewer than 1 percent of Citizens shall be sufficient to establish the referendum.
1.1.5 The Federal Administration shall consist of a Legislature, an Executive, and a Judiciary.
1.2 The Federal Legislature
1.2.1 The Legislature shall be composed of two houses: the Parliament, and the Negative Council.
1.2.2 The Parliament shall be composed of Citizens representing the Virtual Cantons. Each Virtual Canton, regardless of size, shall send exactly one representative to the Parliament. These Members of Parliament are to be chosen in accordance with the laws of the respective Virtual Cantons. Each Member of Parliament shall serve a seven-year term; no Member of Parliament may serve more than one term consecutively or three terms non-consecutively. Members of Parliament may be recalled in accordance with the laws of the relevant Canton.
1.2.3 The Negative Council shall be composed of Citizens representing the Citizens of New Attica. There shall be one Councillor for every 5,000 Citizens. Half of these Councillors, the Councillors by Election, are to be chosen by majority (or plurality) vote of the Citizens. The other half, the Councillors by Lot, are to be selected randomly from a pool of all Citizens willing to serve. These two kinds of Councillor shall have identical voting rights. Each Councillor shall serve a seven-year term; no Councillor may serve more than one term consecutively or three terms non-consecutively. Councillors of either sort may be recalled by national referendum as detailed in 1.1.4.
1.2.4 The Parliament shall have the power to initiate legislation by a two-thirds vote; such legislation must then be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Negative Council. Every bill which shall have passed the Parliament and the Negative Council shall, before it become a law, be presented to the Executive; if at least two of the Presidents approve it they shall sign it and it shall become law, but if not the Executive shall return it with their objections to the Parliament, which shall proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration four-fifths of the Parliament shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the Negative Council, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by four-fifths of the Council, it shall become a law.
Any bill, before it may become a law, must embrace no more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title; appropriation bills shall concern only spending of monies and shall not mandate any other action or conduct, nor shall any bill except a general budget bill contain more than one item of appropriation, and that for one expressed purpose.
In the case of bills that contain spending appropriations, the Executive may exercise a line-item veto, signing some provisions into law and sending others back with objections to the Parliament.
If any bill shall not be returned by the Executive within fourteen days after it shall have been presented to them, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if they had signed it, unless the Legislature by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.
The Parliament shall also have power to propose Amendments to this Constitution as detailed in Section 2.1.
1.2.5 The Negative Council shall have no power to initiate legislation, but shall have, in addition to the power of vetoing proposed Federal legislation, the power to repeal any already existing Federal legislation. A one-third-plus-one vote in favour of repeal shall be sufficient to repeal the legislation; no executive review is required. The Negative Council shall also have power to pass judgment on proposed Amendments to this Constitution as detailed in Section 2.1.
1.2.6 Each of the two houses of the Legislature shall regulate its own affairs, determine its own rules of procedure, and choose its own officers, including its President.
1.2.7 The powers of the Legislature shall be restricted to the following provisions:
a) to protect the rights of the people to their persons and property;
b) to conduct the financial affairs of the Federal Administration;
c) to lay and collect taxes on Citizens of New Attica, for the purpose of paying the debts and providing for the common defense of New Attica, and likewise to solicit voluntary contributions to the Treasury, or to provide services such as lotteries to that end;
d) to declare war in defense of New Attica, and to make peace, and to raise and support a military force;
e) to provide for calling forth a militia to execute the laws of the nation, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions;
f) to vest the appointment of such officers whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Federal law, in the Executive or in the Judiciary, as the Legislature deems proper;
g) to impeach any federal officer;
h) to exercise an extraordinary power, for a period of no more than 20 years immediately following the adoption of this Constitution, to regulate or prohibit the importation or exportation of mind-altering drugs, or the manufacture, importation, and exportation of large-scale chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons, but only insofar as and solely to the extent that such regulation or prohibition is necessary in order to avert a severe risk to New Attica of suffering foreign invasion.
i) to make such laws as shall be necessary for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Federal Administration, or in any department or officer thereof, provided that no law imposing greater restrictions on the people than needed for the attainment of this end shall be regarded as necessary.
1.2.8 The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended; no bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.
1.2.9 No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by Federal law; and statements and accounts of the receipts and expenditures of the Federal Administration shall regularly be made public.
1.2.10 The average Federal tax burden shall rise no higher than 10 percent of the average Citizen's income, this figure to be determined or approximated by statistical methods involving no compulsory disclosure of information on the part of Citizens.
1.2.11 All elected officials in the Federal Administration shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation to be determined by the Legislature; but such compensation shall be neither increased nor diminished during the period for which they shall have been elected, and shall in any case exceed the average Citizen's income (to be determined as in 1.2.10) by no more than 100 percent.
Nor shall any Federal officer receive any compensation in any year in which the Federal budget is not balanced (nor may any budget item be declared "off-budget").
1.2.12 The Federal laws (unlike the Canton laws) shall apply to anyone within the territory of New Attica, whether Citizen or not.
1.2.13 The sum total of Federal laws may not exceed one million words. Any Federal laws passed after this limit has been reached, no previous laws having been repealed, are void and unlawful. Also, each Federal law, before being passed, must be read aloud, at normal speed, to a quorum of each house of the Legislature. These provisions may not be evaded by attempting to give the force of law to documents that are not Federal laws by passing Federal laws which merely refer to these documents.
1.2.14 It shall be the duty of the Federal Legislature to refuse their assent to, or to repeal, any laws in conflict with the Constitution of New Attica.
1.2.15 The deliberations of the Legislature shall be open to public view and record.
1.2.16 The Legislature may not delegate its legislative authority to any other person, body, or bureau.
1.2.17 Each house of the Legislature, subsequent to the first election, shall be divided by lot into three classes, as nearly equal as possible, with one class retiring at the end of the third year, another at the end of the fifth, and another at the end of the seventh.
Temporary vacancies in the Negative Council may be made up by the Executive until an election can be held. Temporary vacancies in the Parliament may be made up in such manner as the laws of the relevant Canton may direct.
1. 3 The Federal Executive
1.3.1 The Federal Executive shall be composed of three Citizens: the President of the Parliament, elected by majority (or plurality) vote of the Parliament; the President of the Negative Council, elected by majority (or plurality) vote of the Negative Council; and the President of New Attica, to be elected by majority (or plurality) vote of the Citizens. The will of the Executive is to be determined by a two-thirds vote of the Presidents.
Each President shall serve a term of no longer than five years; no President may serve more than one such term consecutively or three such terms non-consecutively.
The Executive term of the President of either house of the Legislature shall expire prematurely on the expiration without renewal of said President's Legislative term.
The President of the Parliament may be recalled as the Parliament's rules of procedure may direct; the President of the Negative Council may be recalled as the Negative Council's rules of procedure may direct; the President of New Attica may be recalled by national referendum as detailed in 1.1.4.
1.3.2 The Executive shall from time to time publicly give to the Legislature information of the state of the nation, and recommend to their consideration such measures as the Executive shall judge necessary and expedient.
1.3.3 The powers of the Executive shall be restricted to the following:
a) to be Commander in Chief of the military, when called into the actual service of New Attica (but this shall not be construed to extend to the Executive the power to initiate military action);
b) to make treaties and to appoint ambassadors and other public officers, by and with the advice and consent of two-thirds of each house of the Legislature, and to commission all the officers of New Attica;
c) to receive ambassadors and other public ministers;
d) to convene, on extraordinary occasions, either or both houses of the Legislature (but the Executive shall not convene the Legislature at strange or difficult times or locations);
e) to sign or veto legislation as provided for in the section on the Legislature.
1.3.4 In time of war, any President may delegate his or her decision-making authority to any other President, for a stated period revocable only by majority vote of the Presidents, and not to exceed three months (but renewable thereafter).
1.3.5 Any President shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for any offenses tried under the laws of New Attica, except in cases of impeachment.
1.3.6 It shall be the duty of the Federal Executive to refuse assent to or execution of any laws in conflict with the Constitution of New Attica, and to grant reprieves or pardons to any persons accused of violating such laws.
1.3.7 The three members of the Executive, subsequent to the first election, shall be assigned terms by lot, with one retiring at the end of the first year, another at the end of the third, and another at the end of the fifth.
1.3.8 The Legislature may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation, or inability of any member of the Executive, declaring what officer shall succeed to that office, and such officer shall act accordingly until the disability be removed or a new president shall be selected in the usual manner.
1. 4 The Federal Judiciary
1.4.1 The Federal Judiciary shall be composed of a Supreme Court and an independent judiciary.
1.4.2 The Supreme Court shall consist of 9 Citizens, and shall judge by majority vote. Appointments to the Supreme Court, barring impeachment, shall be for an indefinite term, or until such age of retirement as may be specified by law (except that legal changes in the age of retirement shall not affect the term of existing appointments), and shall be made by the Executive and confirmed by a majority vote of both houses of the Legislature.
1.4.3 The independent judiciary shall consist in a private judicial service or services, under contract to the Federal Administration. Such contracts are to be established and revoked by majority vote of both houses of the Legislature. Such private judicial service shall be considered a division of the Federal Judiciary (and thus of the Government under this Constitution) for the duration of its contract and no longer.
1.4.4 Cases brought before the Federal Judiciary shall first be heard by the independent judiciary; the Supreme Court shall serve as the final court of appeal, but may refuse to hear any appeal.
1.4.5 Fees for Federal court services shall be determined by Federal legislation.
1.4.6 The power of the Judiciary shall be restricted in the first instance to the adjudication of disputes
among the branches of the Federal Administration (except disputes to which the Federal Judiciary is a party), or
between the Federal Administration and a Canton, or
between the Federal Administration and a Citizen, or
between the Federal Administration and a non-Citizen, or
between one Canton and another, or
between one Canton and the members of another, or
between members of different Cantons, or
between a Canton and its own members, or
between a Canton and non-Citizens, or
between Citizens and non-Citizens, or
1.4.7 In addition,
disputes among members of the same Canton may be adjudicated by the Federal Judiciary if the laws of that Canton grant such jurisdiction to the Federal Judiciary;
disputes to which the independent judiciary is a party may be adjudicated by the Supreme Court;
disputes to which the Supreme Court is a party may be adjudicated by the independent judiciary, without appeal to the Supreme Court; and
disputes between the Supreme Court and the independent judiciary, and disputes to which the Federal Judiciary as a whole is a party, may be adjudicated in such manner as the Legislature may determine.
1.4.8 Disputes between the independent judiciary and other divisions of the Government are to be adjudicated as provided by contract.
1.4.9 No person shall be convicted, sentenced, or imprisoned without due process of law, including the right to trial and habeas corpus, and there shall be no detention without trial, nor shall any person either before or after trial be held incommunicado. An accused person shall be assumed innocent until proven guilty. A person who has been arrested, detained, imprisoned, tried, or sentenced either illegally or in error shall receive restitution. At every stage of criminal process, an accused shall be informed of the charges against him or her, and to the privilege of counsel. An accused who does not speak the language in which the proceedings are conducted shall be provided without expense the services of an interpreter.
1.4.10 The right of the people to be secure in their persons, dwellings, vehicles, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of penalty; nor shall any be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against him or herself, nor be deprived of liberty or property without due process of law. Where illegally obtained evidence is judged to be admissible in court, those who obtained it remain subject to criminal prosecution.
1.4.11 The Judiciary shall have no power of compulsory witness, nor of compulsory jury empanelment.
1.4.12 It shall be the chief aim of judicial adjudication to secure restitution for the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or wrongdoer. Likewise, the government (whether Federal or Canton) shall as far as possible make full restitution for all loss suffered by persons arrested, indicted, restrained, imprisoned, expropriated, or otherwise injured in the course of criminal proceedings that do not result in their conviction. When they are responsible, government employees or agents shall be liable for this restitution.
The claim of a victim (or class of victims) to restitution shall be a marketable claim, which may be acquired through gift or sale (or, in the case of deceased victims, through bequest or homesteading).
1.4.13 The victim shall have the right to direct the prosecution in criminal cases, so far as is consistent with full respect for the rights of the accused.
1.4.14 Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor torture or other cruel, unusual, or degrading treatment inflicted. Convicted criminals shall not have their liberty restricted except so far as is necessary for the protection of others, nor their property seized except so far as is necessary to make restitution to the victim and to pay the costs of the criminal's capture and trial.
1.4.15 It shall be the duty of the Federal Judiciary to strike down as void and unlawful any laws, whether Federal or Canton, in conflict with the Constitution of New Attica.
1.4.16 The Federal Judiciary shall not construe any part of this Constitution to be without effect, or to be judicially unenforceable.
1.5 The Virtual Cantons
1.5.1 In becoming a Citizen of New Attica, one also chooses membership in a Virtual Canton. The Virtual Cantons are not geographically or territorially defined entities, but free associations of Citizens. There shall be no fewer than one Virtual Canton for every 100 Citizens, and in any case no fewer than 10 Virtual Cantons in total. Members of one Virtual Canton may change their membership at any time to that of any other Canton, without change in residence.
1.5.2 The political constitution of each Virtual Canton shall initially be chosen by majority vote of its members; subsequent Canton laws shall be passed, and measures for enforcement determined, in accordance with the provisions of that constitution. The constitution and laws of each Virtual Canton shall be binding on its members, subject to the provision that such constitution and laws may not conflict with the Constitution of New Attica, and that free exit and entry must always be permitted. No Virtual Canton shall have authority over persons who are not its members, unless by prior agreement with those persons or with their Virtual Canton, except insofar as is necessary to protect against aggression the rights of its members to their persons and property. The method of determining a Canton's vote on proposed Amendments to the Constitution of New Attica (see Section 2.1) shall be determined by the constitution or laws of that Canton.
1.5.3 No Citizen shall be denied membership in a Virtual Canton, except on the grounds that he or she is already a member of another Canton. Plural Canton membership shall be permissible if authorised by the laws of the Cantons involved.
1.5.4 Any association of 100 or more Citizens may constitute themselves as a new Virtual Canton under the Constitution.
1.5.5 A Canton may dissolve itself in accordance with its own laws, unless such dissolution should bring the number of Cantons below the required number. In addition, any Canton whose membership falls below 100 shall be regarded as dissolved, subject to the same qualification.
1.5.6 Disputes among members of the same Canton, if adjudicated under this Constitution, are to be adjudicated in accordance with the laws of that Canton, allowing or not allowing for Federal appeal as those laws may determine. Disputes across Canton boundaries are to be adjudicated as detailed in the section on the Federal Judiciary.
1.5.7 The manner of holding elections and referenda, both Canton and national, shall be determined by the laws of each Canton, except that the Federal Legislature may by two-thirds vote of each house make or alter such regulations with regard to the national elections and national referenda; but national elections and referenda shall in any case be universal, free, and secret.
In the case of national elections, a petition of not fewer than one percent of Citizens shall be sufficient to place a candidate on the ballot; and in elections for Federal office each ballot shall contain the alternative "None of the above is acceptable." In the event that "None of the above is acceptable" receives a plurality of votes in any election, the elective office for that term shall remain unfilled and unfunded.
1.5.8 No Virtual Canton shall, without the consent of the Federal Legislature, enter into any agreement or compact with a foreign power, or engage in war unless required by such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.
1.5.9 The average tax burden within a Canton shall rise no higher than 40 percent of the income of the average Citizen of that Canton, this figure to be determined or approximated by statistical methods involving no compulsory disclosure of information on the part of Citizens.
Provisions Not Subject to Amendment
2. 1 Provision for Amendments
2.1.1 The Legislature, whenever four-fifths of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution (a process to be initiated by a four-fifths vote of the Parliament, and confirmed by a four-fifths vote of the Negative Council), which Amendments shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of this Constitution when ratified by both four-fifths of the Virtual Cantons (to be determined as the laws of the individual Cantons shall direct) and two-thirds of the Citizens, provided that no Amendment shall in any manner affect Part Two of this Constitution.
2.1.2 All Amendments shall collectively constitute Part Three of this Constitution; the Legislature shall have the power to enforce any Amendment by appropriate legislation, so far as such power is consistent with those provisions of the Constitution not subject to Amendment.
2. 2 Bill of Rights
2.2.1 The following protections of rights shall be binding upon the Virtual Cantons and all branches of the Federal Administration. Public officials and government employees possess no special rights, immunities, or exemptions not possessed by other Citizens; nor shall crimes against the Government of New Attica or its officers be labeled "treason," or regarded as more serious than crimes against other organisations or individuals. Moreover, apart from the rights of suffrage, referendum initiative, and the holding of public office under the Constitution of New Attica, which are reserved to Citizens alone, the following rights apply to all persons equally, regardless of Citizenship or residency, with the qualification that persons judged incompetent (e.g., young children, or the mentally ill) may have their rights suspended in order to secure those ends to which, so far as can be established, they would be likely to consent if competent;
but such persons retain in full force, as do others acting on their behalf, the right to challenge in court their status as incompetent no less often than once a year, and to sue for false judgment. Every person of the age of 16 or greater shall be assumed competent, and every person under the age of 16 shall be assumed incompetent, until proven otherwise in a Federal court. The standard of evidence necessary to prove incompetence shall be higher than the standard of evidence necessary to prove competence.
2.2.2 The laws of New Attica shall apply equally to all persons regardless of gender, ethnicity, opinions, religion, national origin, or peaceful lifestyle.
2.2.3 No law shall abridge the right of each person to do as he or she chooses with his or her own person and property, so long as he or she does not interfere, by force or fraud (or the threat thereof), with the equal right of others to do as they choose with their own persons and property.
2.2.4 No law shall abridge the right of persons to the peaceful control of their own bodies, nor interfere with voluntary consensual or contractual relations among persons, or the right to form cooperative ventures of any kind; nor invade the privacy of peaceful persons, nor by confiscation, expropriation, regulation, redistribution, restriction, control, or any other means abridge the right of any person to acquire property by homestead, purchase, or gift, or to use, control, exchange, lease, sell, transfer, bequeath, dispose of, or in any manner enjoy, their property without interference, until and unless the exercise of their control infringes the freedom of others; nor shall private property be fully or partially taken for public use without the consent of, and mutually agreeable compensation to, the owner.
2.2.5 No law shall create a class of victimless or consensual crimes.
2.2.6 No law shall abridge the right of freedom of association; any person may associate or transact with any other person or refuse to associate or transact with any other person for any reason, and the proprietor or lawful possessor of any movable or immovable property may exclude or refuse admission to any other person, except where such property is being used to violate the rights of others.
2.2.7 No law shall abridge the freedom of thought and feeling, or their peaceful expression or dissemination, as in speech, press and other media, artistic depiction, or religious practice; nor shall any law be made to promote or hinder religion, artistic culture, education, scientific research, or communication; nor shall the government of New Attica operate or support any school, college, or university.
2.2.8 No law shall abridge the right of the people peaceably to assemble, or to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
2.2.9 No law shall countenance the existence of slavery, conscription, indenture, or any other form of involuntary servitude within New Attica, or in any place subject to its jurisdiction.
Nor shall any person be compelled by law to serve as an incubator for an unborn foetus; the right to defend one's bodily integrity extends to the right to abort an unwanted pregnancy.
2.2.10 No law shall restrict or hamper the free and peaceful movement of persons, goods, or ideas within or across the borders of New Attica.
2.2.11 No law shall abridge the right of any person to use or issue any commodity or item as currency; nor shall the government of New Attica engage in monetary regulation or issue of any sort.
2.2.12 No law shall abridge the right of self-defense by victims or their agents against initiators of aggression (including governments or their agents), including the right to own, manufacture, sell, and bear arms; but the right of self-defense shall not be construed to license resistance on the part of such aggressors to the legitimate use of force against them in defense of the rights of their victims.
Retributive punishment, or any coercive treatment disproportionate to the seriousness of the aggression or exceeding that required to restrain an aggressor, protect actual or potential victims of that aggressor, or secure restitution, is hereby prohibited.
2.2.13 No law shall establish occupational licensure, nor make or claim grants of monopoly privilege, nor restrict competition or free entry into any profession or industry, including the services of adjudication, protection, and enforcement of legitimate rights.
2.2.14 No person shall be convicted for violating government secrecy classifications unless the government discharges its burden of proving that the publication violated the right of privacy of those who have been coerced into revealing confidential information to government agents, or disclosed defensive military plans so as to materially impair the capability to respond to attack; but it shall be a valid defense to such prosecution that information divulged shows that the government has violated the law.
2.2.15 Any Virtual Canton may secede with its citizens and their property from the jurisdiction of New Attica, whereupon their territory shall become a sovereign independent state in accordance with international law.
2.2.16 The enumeration in this Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
2.2.17 The powers not delegated to the Federal Administration by this Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the Virtual Cantons, are reserved to the Cantons respectively, or to the people.
2.2.18 The existence of a state of emergency shall not be construed to limit the individual rights, or to expand the governmental powers, herein enumerated.
Some Proposed Amendments
Addendum to 2.2.2: "Nor shall the courts grant to any profession or body of thought an effective "monopoly on truth" by permitting its findings to be entered as evidence while at the same time denying the same privilege to its rivals."
Addendum to 2.2.13: "Nor shall any law grant copyrights or patents, or recognize their legitimacy; this provision shall not, however, be construed to license the fraudulent marketing of one person's work under the false pretense that it is another's."
Alternatives include altering 1.2.7.h to allow a temporary extraordinary power to implement copyright in order to preent invasion, or some other form of implementing a copyright system.
Various debates about particular numbers: in 1.1.4, the number of citizens required for a referendum; in 1.2.3, how many Councillors; in 1.2.7.h, the duration of the extraordinary power; in 1.2.10, the maximum amount of federal tax; in 1.2.11, the maximum compensation; in 1.4.2, the size of the Supreme Court; in 1.5.1 and 1.5.4 and 1.5.10, the minimum number and size of Cantons; in 1.5.7, the number of petitioning citizens needed to allow a candidate; and in 1.5.9, the maximum Canton tax.