Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Recommendations for a Better Government

In the wake of the waves of reform in the political arena of the Arab world, I have compiled a list of recommendations for what I believe would be a better government and social order. Some of these recommendations are practical for the current world politics, others are progressive, and would hopefully be implemented in future revisions to governments and laws. However, as far fetched some of these recommendations might be, I hope that people would work to realize those recommendations sooner rather than later.

Constitutional Recommendations:
Recommendation 1: Government representatives should be elected in a democratic process. This needs to apply to both the legislative and executive powers of the state.
Recommendation 2: Providing alternative means to representative democracy.
Direct democracy and deliberative democracy are good alternatives to representative democracy. Direct democracy was an impractical form of government due to technological limitations. Nowadays, the technological means are available to make direct democracy a viable solution.
Recommendation 3: Independence of the three powers of state: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.
Recommendation 4: All citizens are equal with respect to the law. There must be no discrimination against them in terms of race, origin, religion, gender, language, sexual orientation, or social status.
Recommendation 5: The right to a fair and public trial.
All people have the right to a fair and public trial. No person should be imprisoned without trial. No person should be detained without a court order or probable cause. Making trials public is a way of making sure that the proceedings are fair.
Recommendation 6: Secularization of government.
Separation of religion and government is an important aspect of a modern government.
Recommendation 7: Personal liberties must be granted.
This includes (but not limited to): Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, freedom of information, freedom to practice politics, freedom to own firearms, freedom to protest and demonstrate, the right to demand overthrowing of government.
Recommendation 8: A constitutional right to overthrow government.
There needs to be laws that recognize the right of civilians to demand overthrowing the government. Those laws can provide legitimacy and order when events similar to what is currently happening around the Arab world.
Recommendation 9: Gun rights as a constitutional right.
Gun rights are the most important civil rights. No government truly respects its citizens unless it admits that civilians have a right to own firearms. Throughout history corrupt governments fight to cease control. The events in Libya is a prime example of a corrupt government that would do anything, including killing civilians to remain in control. Installment of the right to own firearms is the only sincere symbolism of a government that allows its citizens to be in control, and provide practical means in extreme cases to overthrow government if that government became excessively corrupt. Some might be concerned about gun rights, but one quote by Benjamin Franklin comes to mind: "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
Recommendation 10: Constitutional freedom of speech and expression.
Another extremely important civil right. The internet and the press need to be protected by the law from any governmental pressure to censor material. There have been brutal attempts to limit the freedom of the internet. Now more than ever, social networking websites might be under pressure to collaborate with governments to expose and eliminate all anti-government activities.
Recommendation 11: Constitutional freedom of religion.
The right to join and abandon existing religions must be granted. Also, the right to create new religions need to be recognized as part of the right of assembly.
Recommendation 12: Constitutional freedom to practice politics.
The right to join and abandon existing political parties must be granted. Also, the right to create new political parties need to be recognized as part of the right of assembly. The right to criticize and investigate the government also need to be recognized as part of the freedom of speech and the freedom of information.
Recommendation 13: Creation of states.
In the interest of pluralism in the government, it can be beneficial to create several states within one country, such that each state can have different laws. This implies that each state would have its own legislative power, making it possible that different state having different laws. If used properly, this allows government to accommodate the needs of a non-homogeneous community, such that citizens are provided with alternatives and make it possible to experiment with the introduction of new laws which might be controversial for some.

Laws Recommendations:
Recommendation 1: Abolishing all anti-terrorism laws.
Anti-terrorism laws provide the governments with illegitimate power to abuse citizens. Laws that prohibit gatherings, allow the government to spy and detain civilians without warrant. Such laws are of a government that terrorizes its own people.
Recommendation 2: Legalizing prostitution.
Countless efforts exist to eliminate gender discrimination against women. However, it is a fact that the right to practice prostitution is the most important right for women, and the only permanent and uncompromising solution to the problem of discrimination against women. Legalizing prostitution is the means through which societies eliminate the culture of shame that has been terrorizing women for centuries, as well as, allowing them to seek protection under the law, and form unions that help ensure their security and escape abuse.
Recommendation 3: Legalizing drugs.
Criminalization of drugs is another form of civil oppression by governments. Movements for legalizing marijuana have already started to formulate to varying degrees of success around the world. People are starting to realize how such laws are nothing but tools of oppression for the governments.
Recommendation 4: Legalizing gay-marriages.
Yet another form of discrimination based on sexual-orientation. LGBT rights need to be respected an recognized under the law.
Recommendation 5: Legalizing all forms of consensual polygamy.
Polygamy while not widely recognized as a matter of human rights, it does deserve to be recognized as such. Monogamous marriages is a violation of human rights, and a symbol of oppression that goes unnoticed by many. Legalization of polygamy bears many parallels with legalization of gay marriages. This similarity is defined by the notion that all humans have the right to form relationships with fellow human beings, and to form a legally recognizable bindings if they wish to do so. Hence, the right of marriage should be provided to all.
Recommendation 6: Installment of temporary affirmative action laws.
Affirmative action laws are practical tools to fight discrimination. However, this tool needs to be temporary, because affirmative action itself is a type of discrimination. Laws that provide women with additional seats in the house of representatives, and other laws that protect women from violence (especially honor crimes) and discrimination, all of those are good examples of affirmative action laws that need to exist to accelerate the process of abolishing discrimination.
Recommendation 7: Criminalization of torture.
As part of the human rights, torture must be criminalized and punished by law. This applies but not limited to government agencies that use torture as means of investigation.
Recommendation 8: Criminalization of political imprisonment and secretive imprisonment.
As part of the right to practice politics, the right of assembly, and the right of overthrowing government, detaining civilians for political opposition of government need to be criminalized and punished by law. All prisoners and detainees have the right to inform other civilians about their imprisonment. Details of prisoners and detainees should be provided to the public record as part of the freedom of information and the right to a fair and public trial. Failing to do so must be punishable by law.

Of course, these are only a small sample of modifications that I believe are important to advance government and social order.


kinzi said...

Hi DM! You can imagine which one of these I agree with and which I don't. :)

But since pologamy is often torture for women, which wins?

Devil's Mind said...

I don't understand your concern, please elaborate.

To explain my recommendation about polygamy, I am talking about consensual polygamy. Whether a man or a woman may marry another man or woman without the permission of their current wife or husband, that's something debatable. But if the wife or husband provides consent, I see no reason why this should be criminalized.

Allowing men to practice polygamy while prohibiting it from women is a type of discrimination. However, if both were given equal rights to practice it, along with the requirement of consent, I don't see why this would be a problem.

For example, a bisexual woman might desire to have one husband and one wife. Why should she have to choose one or the other? Consider also the cases of polyamory, this is a very real example of more than two people desiring to be united.

kinzi said...

Well, in the real world, polygamy is primarily practiced only by men, Muslims and Mormons, in a discriminatory way. Women (and men) are robbed of real intimacy, which only happens between two, exclusively.

I wish you could spend time with people who have marriages where they wouldn't want it any other way.

Polyamory seems to work best when people are young and beautiful and unattached to children. It seems a very self-focused way to live.

These people are going to be very lonely when they are old, weak, and have nothing to offer.

(of course, since I know you aren't interested in the Biblical basis for marriage and fidelity, I won't go there, but that is the foundation of my argument. And nearly twenty years of invigorating, robust, happy marriage)

Devil's Mind said...

Your marriage is happy, but not all marriages are necessarily as happy. Divorce happens even in monogamous straight marriages. But that is beside the point.

The point is, liberty is an important demand for social order. The judgment of whether something will make the person happy or not needs to be decided by the individuals, not some government officials.

I don't know your position regarding gay marriages for example, but the simple fact that marriages in the past were straight does not mean that other arrangements are not as good.

If you ask a straight couple they would say straight marriage is the best and they wouldn't have it any other way. If you ask a gay couple they would say gay marriage is the best and they wouldn't have it any other way. Everyone likes what works for them, but it is not the case that one shoe fits all!!

Anonymous said...

I think you are on the way of the venus project.
I think you will like it
Its a project for a better future

sorry my english