Campaigning 1

When politicians make campaign promises, these promises are to be considered binding contracts. If the contract is broken then they are to return all money donated to them during the campaign. Any politician who states a verifiable untruth are to be given 1 strike (these strikes are separate from the other strikes that relate to constitutionality of laws). Misleading statements are to count at 0.25 strikes. Any politician who receives 5 of these strikes in any year will be put up for an immediate recall election which requires only 40% to be removed from office. This automatic contract speech does not apply to any non-government situation.

The government may never pass a law making illegal any physical action which does not do violence to another person. A person may abuse themselves as much as they like so long as that abuse does not significantly affect others in a physical way. (The upshot is that all drugs and consensual sexual behaviors are legal and cannot be abridged no matter how prudish a legislator is.)

All laws must be voted on again after 10 years. Each vote must take no less than 10 minutes and no votes may overlap. No more than 15,000 laws may be passed (or re-passed) in any 365 day period. That means that there may never be more than 150,000 laws on the books at any one time. Every law must make at most one definite statement. The courts may strike down as unconstitutional any law which is deemed overbroad. If there is not enough time to repass all laws then you have too many laws.

If the courts strike down any law as unconstitutional, all legislators who voted for that law will get one strike. Any legislator who receives 3 or more strikes in any 4 year period will be removed from office immediately and will be charged their share of the court costs of those who sued to overturn the law.

The death penalty is not allowed under any circumstances. If the prisoner is sufficiently dangerous then they may be incarcerated in solitary confinement for the rest of their life. (Some people may deserve death, but the government is incapable of determining with absolute certainty the guilt of anyone. There is always doubt.)

New laws require 60% of the votes in the legislature to pass. Existing laws may be repealed with 50% of the vote in the legislature. If a legislator does not vote on a law then their vote is considered to be an explicit no vote. There are no excuses for sickness of injury. If they're not there then they are recorded as having voted no. The vote of every legislator must be specifically recorded so that anyone can tell who voted for what. A version control system is to be used for all laws. All changes to all bills are to be checked into the system so that it is easy to see what changes have been made at any time.

If a law is not used at all during any year then that law will come up for immediate renewal and requires an additional 5% of votes to pass.

Any law that is broken by 10% or more of all citizens (during any time period) is to be removed from the books. When this happens, all those who were ever punished under the law are to be richly compensated for any fines or time that the law took from them.

Any law may have its constitutionality challenged at any time by anyone. Standing (ie. a demonstration that the defendant was personally harmed by a law) is not required for constitutional challenges.

Laws may not have names. There is no way to ensure that the "protect the children" act has anything at all to do with children. So, it's best to just not allow any laws to have names. All laws will be numbered starting at 1 for the first law ever passed. No numbers will ever be reused.

If a time of crisis occurs, the government does not have the right to suspend rights. They may not eliminate habeas corpus at any time. They may not seize weapons from lawful citizens. They may not force people from their homes regardless of the danger or potential danger. (They are also not under any obligation to help those who foolishly stay in a dangerous situation.)

!Term Limits
Everyone who is employed by the government in any way has a term limit of 12 years. After 12 years of service they must enter the private sector.

Anyone who pulls a Putin (maintains power past term limits by being the actual voice behind some other figurehead) is committing treason. The punishment for this crime is the same as the punishment for corrupting the voting process. (They must be air dropped into the most undemocratic country.)

If a politician votes to pass a budget which is not balanced, they will be personally responsible for any debt incurred which remains 5 years from that point in time. Individuals are unlikely to be able to afford that amount of money, so anyone who can't pay will simply be put in jail until the budget is balanced again. That point in time is fixed. A politician who votes to pass an unbalanced budget when debt has existed for 5 or more years will be immediately put in jail until the budget is balanced again. This is necessary to prevent rolling debt whereby current politicians pay off the fines of jailed politicians.

The president may not send troops anywhere (even for "peacekeeping") unless congress officially declares war on that location. War declarations expire after 6 months and must be passed again by congress. If it fails to pass then all troops must come home within one month. Failure to do this will result in an automatic 1 year prison sentence for the president starting at the end of that month. Every police officer has a duty to ensure this sentence is served. Any personal guards or secret service agents who resist must also be put in jail for assisting a known criminal in evading the law.

War declarations may be overturned by a majority vote in a national election which must take place 3 months after every congressional vote for war. The punishment (for the president) for ignoring this vote is identical to the punishment for ignoring the congressional vote.

After declaring war on a region, the entire congress and the president must relocate to the region they have declared war on as soon as a "beachhead" is created there. They may not reenter the country again for any reason until the war is over.

!Intellectual Property
Copyrights exist for 5 years from the time that a work is published. This length of time may not be extended under any circumstances. (The money gained from publishing is more than enough to encourage creativity.)

Copyrights apply only to specific works. They do not apply to imaginary worlds and characters. (People can't copy the text of a Harry Potter book, but they can write their own Harry Potter books and sell them.)

Patents are allowed only on drugs, are issued to the first to file, and last 5 years from the point that the drug goes on sale or 10 years from the time of filing, whichever is reached sooner. This length of time may not be extended under any circumstances. (First mover advantage is more than enough to encourage creativity in all areas other than drugs.)

The government is not allowed, under any circumstances, to keep anything secret for more than one year. To this end, video cameras (or whatever the current best technology is) shall record every moment of a politician's life while they are in office. Privacy shall be granted only to the extent that reality tv shows grant privacy to their participants. The video shall be kept on file for one year and then released for public viewing. If a politician is caught making any significant actions away from the camera then they are to be removed from office immediately.

!Quid Pro Quo
Automated surveillance technologies such as recording video cameras may never be used by any government official (including police officers). Anyone who wants to do remote surveillance will have to watch the camera, but the camera may never record anything. If multiple cameras are in use then one officer must be present for every camera. Any officer violating this will be punished by having a camera installed in their bedroom and bathroom for one year. Anyone may view the footage taken by these cameras. (The point of all this is to prevent infinite escalation in government surveillance. Requiring a physical presence puts a natural limit on the amount of surveillance that can take place.)

Whistle blowers are to be awarded $10,000 for every government violation that they bring to light. This value is to be tied to inflation and is to be taken out of the pocket of the violator.

!Law Enforcement & Prisoner Rights
Everyone is entitled to access to a lawyer. This is absolute and may never be prevented under any circumstances no matter what the accused is accused of. All officers are required to inform anyone they talk to that they have a right to a lawyer at any time. A video link (or whatever the current best technology is) must be kept between a police officer and a lawyer at all times when the officer is talking with a civilian. The police may never say anything to a civilian unless a lawyer is listening. If the civilian doesn't like that lawyer they may choose to contact another one. They are to be informed of this at the beginning of any communications.

No one shall ever be held in prison for any length of time without being charged with a crime.

No one shall ever be held in prison for more than 1 week while awaiting trial.

If a person is kept in prison before or during their trial, they must always be given rich accommodations that would be just as appropriate for a high end hotel (the only exception is when they are already in prison serving a sentence for some other unrelated crime). If the person is convicted of a crime then they may be taken to a normal prison with minimal accommodations.

Law and order shall always be kept inside prisons. Anyone who commits a violent crime while in prison shall be moved permanently into solitary confinement for the remainder of their imprisonment (this confinement is subject to legal appeal).

All prisoners are to be given access to any educational materials they desire.

Violent torture is not allowed under any circumstances. Moderate torture (waterboarding and the like) may be performed only if the interrogator is subjected to the same amount of torture for the same lengths of time (this quid pro quo must occur within one week of any torture given out). EEGs (or whatever best technology is available) are to be used on all torturers to make sure they do not enjoy either torturing or being tortured. Any detection of the least amount of enjoyment in either case will result in the torturer being prevented from ever torturing again under any circumstances.

Juries shall be allowed to ask questions in written form during trials. These questions are to be given to all parties in the trial.

Juries are to be informed during every trial that they have every right to simply ignore the law and let the defendant off the hook if they judge the law to be unjust. Any law which is nullified by juries in more than 5% of the cases during any year shall be automatically repealed. (This is a supercharged version of jury nullification.)

If property is seized as evidence from an individual then that property must be returned to the individual at the completion of the trial unless one of the punishments determined at trial is the forfeiture of that property. Any media that is seized (hardcopy or electronic) must be duplicated and returned to the owner within 2 days. Pictures must be taken of all seized property before it is taken from the individual. If any damage occurs to any of that property then the government must pay to have the damage repaired or the object replaced. If the government fails to copy and return media within 2 days then that evidence may not be used at trial. If the government fails to return property at the completion of the trial then the government will be charged 10% compounding interest per day until the property is returned. If no trial ever occurs then all seized property must be returned as soon as that decision is made. The same 10% compounding rule applies in that case. That decision must be made within 1 week of property seizure.

Police may not use extreme force in situations where violent resistance is not likely to occur. For instance, the police may not use SWAT to invade the home of someone suspected of a non-violent crime.

The police may never, under any circumstances, invade a home without a warrant. Evidence gotten without a warrant is not admissible at trial. If the police in a particular department seize evidence without a warrant more than 3 times in a given 10 year period then that department will be completely disbanded. New officers from other areas will be brought in and no officer from that department is allowed ever to be an officer ever again. This is to prevent corrupt officers from ever polluting other areas.

The police, the judiciary, all politicians, and all military personnel, are subject to all laws at double penalty. All fines and all prison terms are doubled for these people. (Those in power are held to a higher standard precisely because they are in power.)


There is no electoral college. All votes are direct votes.

Ballot tampering and any any other sort of voting fraud is a treasonous offence and is punishable by deportation to whichever country is least democratic at the moment (if this country is actually the least democratic then send them to the second least democratic country). If the country won't accept them then they will be air dropped into that country anyway.

Recall votes are to occur for all politicians once per year except during the years when normal elections are occurring. A 50% thumbs down vote results in the legislator being recalled. No new candidates are elected. Power simply transfers down the chain. If positions are left open (because there isn't anyone farther down the chain) then new elections for those positions will be held within one month.

There are no explicit term limits, but all incumbents get a 1% penalty vote per year in office (effectively, after the vote occurs, that percentage is removed from the number of votes the incumbent received). Someone serving 8 years would get 8% of the votes cast for them discounted.

Voting forms may not include any information regarding political party. If the voter doesn't know the name of the person they are voting for then they don't need to vote for them. All voting forms must have the words "You are not required to vote on an issue if you don't know anything about it." displayed in large bold letters. The order of names on ballots is to be randomized for every ballot. (Each ballot must be printed individually and all sections of the ballot must have the names and choices randomized each time.)

No one may serve as president if they are blood related (up to second cousin) to any other president who served during the previous 50 years. No one may serve as president if they are related by marriage (up to first cousin) to any other president who served during the previous 20 years. No child of any president may ever serve as president. (This clause is in there just in case life spans are increased sufficiently to allow this to happen.)

Version 4.1 last modified by Geoff Fortytwo on 14/05/2008 at 01:17

Attachments 0

No attachments for this document
Website Top
Send Me Mail!:
   g42website4 AT
My Encyclopaedia Blog

Creator: Geoff Fortytwo on 2008/05/12 01:19
Copyright 2004-2007 (c) XPertNet and Contributing Authors