Main Features
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Purpose of Proposed Model Constitution

To use the tools and insights provided by economics and competitive markets to create a constitutional framework more sensitive to the interests of the citizens in their individual, group and collective capacities.

Main Features of Proposed Model Constitution

  1. Devolved Sovereignty: The model consists of a concrete proposal for a modernized and reformed confede­ration built on local popular sovereignty and volun­tary co-operation. Through the concept of devolved sovereignty it alleviates the possible conflict between democracy and majority rule on the one hand, and individual liberty and minority rights on the other hand.
  2. Checks and Balances: The proposed system of checks and balances facilitates the peaceful resolution of conflicts and deposits ultimate authority in the people in its individual, group and collective capacities.

  3. Flexibility: The model is generalized so that it can accommodate a confederation of any size and with any number of member states. It provides a level of flexibility which might be especially useful in a European context.

  4. Sovereignty: Each member state is sovereign and retains all powers not expressly delegated. Each member state may also withdraw powers previously delegated to the confederation.
  5. Voluntary Co-operation: Member states may at any time opt out of confederate decisions. The constitutional model supports a multi-track Europe.

  6. Secession: Member states may secede from the confederation at any time. Member countries are free to participate in non-confederate organizations. Non-confederate organizations may be integrated with the confederate structure over time.

  7. Local Power: The constitution allows any level of political or economic integration, but ensures that the pace of integration is determined, not by central government, but directly by the citizens and each member state.

  8. Democracy: The citizens participate through direct democratic elections both at the state level and at the confederate level. The citizens have the right to approve and/or initiate legislation at both levels of government. Amend­ments to the confederate constitution must be approved by the people.

  9. Confederate Institutions: A bicameral legislature with a lower house elected by the people and an upper house representing the member states. A president elected directly by the people. An independent supreme court, and a cons­titutional tribunal to resolve conflicts between the con­federation and the states. Limited central taxing powers. Procedural rights intended to safeguard democracy and individual liberty.

  10. Main Objectives: To create democratic ins­titutions with the limited powers necessary for the resolut­ion of conflicts between member countries and for carrying out any other tasks delegated to them by the people or the states. Prevent the accumulation and centralization of power over time.

  11. Just Rules: The constitution aims at providing honest and just ground rules for decis­ion making so that the rational behavior of public officials is made consistent with the interests of the people.

Revised: 2003-12-14

Copyright © 1991-2003 John F. Knutsen

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