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  1. #11
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    The UK has a constitution, Bagehot (spelling) wrote about it, its been a long time since the divine right of kings was respected anywhere.

    The UK constitution is much more complex and long winded than the US, probably with good reason too, but equally its ignored as often too, for instance the present unelected and unelectable "coalition" of liberals and conservatives who ran on seperate political platforms achieving seperate mandates with seperate votes who decided afterwards to join together their seperate seats in the house and form a single majority and therefore become the government, hence forth implementing policy that a minority of people voted for.

    Yeah, no one complained about it, its really hard to know why but no one takes politics seriously in the UK and it is met with inevitability by an electorate which believes the lies in the papers.
    The UK has written law, and it is currently written to be fully parliamentary with only a symbolic monarchy, but it doesn't really have a constitution per se. If I said a bill the UK was unconstitutional, which document would you forward me to?
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  2. #12
    Sniffles
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    There is the concept of unwritten constitutions, although it's usually been favored by traditionalists and monarchists.

  3. #13
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    One of my favorite recurring lines from the comments section on that video.

    How can you dare speak out against the document that gives you the very right to criticize it?
    Can these people not see the paradox they are creating?

    EDIT: Also interesting is that the comments frequently involve anti-intellectualism and xenophobia.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  4. #14
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    There is a difference between saying the constitution isn't really binding at all and saying that it must be obeyed but must be subject to interpretation.
    In theory, but not so much in practice, except when such interpretation is filtered through an 'original meaning' standard, so that interpretation is constrained by conceptual parameters based on objective, unchanging criteria, rather than subject to the outer limits of absurd sophistry.

  5. #15
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    In theory, but not so much in practice, except when such interpretation is filtered through an 'original meaning' standard, so that interpretation is constrained by conceptual parameters based on objective, unchanging criteria, rather than subject to the outer limits of absurd sophistry.
    I don't think originalism is even humanly possible.
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  6. #16
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Some things to consider.

    There are 5 countries in the world that don't have constitutions in the sense that the USA does. They are the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. Only one of those 5 is actually the thing people fear a nation without a constitution will become.

    That leaves all the other countries on the table. So if you think about all of the countries in the world, constitutions actually have a pretty low success rate when it comes to protecting rights, representation, and democracy. What makes a constitution so important if it merely makes suggestions that can be discarded at any point?

    And finally there's the significant point the professor raised in the video. Our great presidents had doubts about the constitution and all disobeyed it. Washington might be an exception but as the first president he's in a unique situation. So would the country actually be a much worse place if our leaders did follow the constitution exactingly?
    Yeah, we're not too keen on constitutions here (in New Zealand) mainly because of the problems of the US example. We have a bill of rights and a pretty critical public scrutinising the politicians, and in general I consider that to be enough. Sure, it leaves us in a potentially vulnerable position should there be a party or politician who forms a dictatorship, but honestly if someone plans on doing this, they don't usually let laws get in their way.

    In the mean time, I'm pretty glad we don't have to contend with stupid, vague and out of date issues like the 2nd amendment.

    I don't think it's sensible for the US to do away with their constitution but people really do have to stop treating it like a holy text.
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  7. #17
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Maybe, before the fact that everyone got carried away with it, the fact is that the Constitution was based on a good set of strong principles that we want to keep because we value them. Not all of them, but it's also (something critics and admirers should both remember more vividly) open to amendment--changes are allowed, so it doesn't have to be always admired for all parts.

    But based on those two things: 1. That it starts with a pretty good framework that protects rights and carefully contains its power, and 2. That it's open to change if we really want to change it, I don't feel it should be "thrown out." If your main point is that people cling too tightly to it on blind faith, I agree, though.

    Like a lot of problems with our political system, I think the voting public should take its share of responsibility for this "problem." The problem is the way we look at it, yes, and also the lack of motivation to do something about a problem that's bothering us/them...the fact that people whine but don't do anything says something about the situation (and other such situations)...it must not be that crucial of an issue to them.
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  8. #18
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    The UK has written law, and it is currently written to be fully parliamentary with only a symbolic monarchy, but it doesn't really have a constitution per se. If I said a bill the UK was unconstitutional, which document would you forward me to?
    It wouldnt be a single document, which to me is a mistaken version of constitutionalism, a single document cant really sum it all up and will always be inadequate.

    The constitution sits in the houses of parliament next to the mace, its a series of books.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    One of my favorite recurring lines from the comments section on that video.



    Can these people not see the paradox they are creating?

    EDIT: Also interesting is that the comments frequently involve anti-intellectualism and xenophobia.
    The point is "we dont even want to discuss this", in some ways I can understand the frustration because I feel the same way about the RCC's approach to canon law, some people are dogmatists and discussion frightens them but if it was done correctly I think discussion would actually win support or at least cause some more serious thinking about the attempts to preserve a tradtion or the value of traditionalism per se.

    Although given the poor standard of much of the discussion which ensues generally when the opportunity presents itself I can understand some peoples impatience and bad tempered response.

  10. #20
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I don't think originalism is even humanly possible.
    And yet Justices, lawyers, and scholars manage it everyday.

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