Newsletter TDF 2/2005

EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION, DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM   

Dear Co-Planetaries, 

I believe worth to reflect, for those which hope in a growth of democracy and freedom, on some recent, and some incoming events. I'm talking about the referendums on the European constitution, recently held in France and The Nederland, and about the referendum of June 12th/13th, in Italy, on the artificial insemination. 

Firstly, as a new-humanist and a democratic libertarian, I consider the referendum tool as a vector of improvement for democracy, for social growth and for increase of the people's liberty. The referendum, if well managed, it is therefore a tool that can help the citizens to become more sovereign, and less vassals. 

As to the recent French and Dutch referendums, I express my great bother for the distorted and instrumental reading of the result of the vote, that comes from more or less all the political parts (at least in Italy). The result of the vote is read as: anti-European, anti-Euro, against the widening to 25 states, anti-free-trade, just to quote the readings more frequented by the politicians. 

Nobody has wondered if by chance the citizens intended to express, more simply, the failure of this constitution draft. However, this is exactly my opinion. 

I premise that, if I had been called to vote, I would probably have voted yes to the constitution, to give a yes to Europe, despite the complete inadequacy of the proposed constitutional paper. Please also see, about the Constitution draft, the forum http://www.tdf.it/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=list&forum=DCForumID21&conf=DCConfID2, in which you/they propose him some minimal user requirements, for a constitutional paper of the third millennium. 

Thus I cannot blame the ones who rejected this document - composed of 500 articles, filled of references to other texts. Just to think about interpreting it, one shall have a degree in jurisprudence. In order to have title to comment such erudite exudation of superior minds, one shall be a constitutionalist. The constitution draft presented to the vote is a sort of "latinorum", debatable only by big constitutionalist priests. I'm speaking in practical terms, obviously: personally I had begun the study of the document, with the intention to comment it in details, but a prudent assessment of the needed time - taking into account the many references to other texts - gave me at least a man/month. Frankly I don't have that time, unless someone wanted to make a budget available. Therefore we have a text (i) incomprehensible (ii) unusable, by the sovereign citizens, i.e. by those people that, paying taxes, they financed the development of it! 

Now, the authors, instead of taking note of the failure by their sovereigns, and starting with renewed good will to work to an alternative, strive in the most fanciful hypotheses, everything, but to recognize their own inadequacy! 

Well, before proceeding to write another draft, it should be better to understand (as we have proposed about one year ago) the user requirements of the constitution, and, since we are there, also of the European Union itself. 

I'd propose therefore a great popular referendum, contemporary in all the States called to vote, setting at least the following questions: 

1)

 Which type of constitution do you think more useful? 

a. 

A several hundreds articles constitution, with references to other documents, interpretable only by lawyers and constitutionalists 

b.

A constitution of maximum 50 articles, understandable by everybody, self-referenced, that can easily be studied at schools, and used by all the sovereign citizens in their daily life

2) 

What type of state do you prefer?

a. 

A federation of States (like the United States, Switzerland, Germany) 

b.

A centralized State 

3) 

Do you want an unique coin for the whole European Union? Yes - No 

4)

Do you want a Parliament with full legislative powers, (at least for the federal laws, in case of federation)? Yes - No 

5)

What language or languages you want to speak

a. 

A unique language, taught as first language at schools; each national language becomes a second language 

b.

The national languages remain first language at schools; the chosen common language is founded as second language in all the schools of the Union

6)

What type of information do you want? 

a. 

The information remains appanage of the national local powers 

b.

European great information organs are created (journalistic and radio-television headings), with editorial staffs in each member state, produced in all the languages of the Union

7)

What type of bureaucracy done prefer? (Please vote all options: 0 - 10, 10 = max)  

a. 

Slender, light, on the UK model (least cost and zero obstacles for the constitution of companies)

b.

Structures to help the small and micro enterprise, no tax duties nor VAT below a certain threshold of invoice (e.g. 50.000,00 Euro)

8)

What type of revenue system do you prefer? (Please vote all options: 0 - 10, 10 = max) 

a. 

Based on punishment, with penalty and severe punishments for the evaders

b.

Based on prize, with progressive reduction of taxes for the ones which pay regularly (type bonus-malus)

c.

An opaque general system, in which all the contributions meet

d.

A transparent system, with possibility for the contributors to destine the greatest part of their contribution, on topics (e.g.: scientific search, space, environment, education, health, etc...), with transparent budget of the different departments

9)

Do you want a European defence system, reporting to the European Parliament? Yes - No

10)

Please point out the priorities for economic development (vote all options: 0 - 10, 10 = max) 

a. 

Mobility and infrastructures (innovative mobility systems, integrating private and public transport means) 

b.

Energy (spinnerettes alternative to oil)

c.

Aerospace (space economy, space tourism, space solar energy, industrialization of the geo-lunar space)

d.

Bio-engineering, nano-technologies 

e.

Tourism, exploitation of the historical patrimony and cultural goods

f.

Other

11)

Please point out the politics for the scientific and technological research (please vote all options: 0 - 10, 10 = max) 

a. 

Introduction, in all the schools, of the teaching of the scientific search history and of philosophy of the science 

b.

Introduction, in all the schools, of the teaching of the scientific search history and of philosophy of the science 

c.

Introduction, in all the schools, of the teaching of astronomy and astronautic disciplines 

d.

Other

12)

Please point out the type of democracy you prefer (vote all options: 0 - 10, 10 = max) 

a. 

The elected parliament is sovereign, and it decides for everybody

b.

The citizens are sovereign, the elected parliament and government are executive organs of the will of the citizens

c.

The citizens vote every five years for the renovation of the parliament and of the government, for the remaining time they are not consulted, if not in exceptional cases 

d.

The citizens vote every five years for the renovation of the parliament and of the government, and they are normally called to decide on all the issues relevant for the public life, by means of electronic communication 

e.

Other

I stop here, because the bill of questions risks to lengthen a lot, even if I would be attempted to ask the sovereigns if they still intend to pay 20.000,00 Euro monthly salaries to the parliamentarians, and to get back a very bad service indeed. Would it not be better to pay a good salary (say an industry manager one), and maybe to demand un excellent curriculum, before admitting them in the election lists? 

But I would be already happy if all the European sovereign citizens could answer to the simple above questions. It would be enough to organize an online questionnaire, and establish public points, with the necessary assistance, so that also the citizens which don't own an internet connection can exercise their right to vote. 

Coming to the matter of the Italian referendum, I believe fully superfluous to tell you how I will vote, next Sunday: for a long time I expressed myself for the liberty of scientific research, also proposing to target an 8x1000 of the tax contribution to the scientific search. And I have never made mystery about my libertarian orientation, therefore a sound YES on all the four questions is the obvious consequence of my whole thought. 

But I'd like here, however, to reason about the institute of the referendum, that I hold a fundamental tool to widen the direct democracy. Btw, the online communication technologies are nowadays consolidated, and the telephone is totally diffused. Thus we could be already very much more ahead, so much that we could suppose some masochist mass tendencies, if we still weren't able to get rid of such a retrograde political personnel, so far from the real feel of the people. 

Leaving polemics apart (they say that we should "think positive" :-) , it would be enough to look around, also nearby, to find positive examples: Switzerland, a country in which the referendum is used indeed, as a tool of direct democracy and not to fake to pick up the "popular consent" as in Italy. Switzerland has no quorum, and the referendum is considered valid even if only the 20% of the having right to vote exercise their right. A simple principle is in force: who wants to decide goes to vote, the ones which don't vote are happy with the others' decision.

In this way, people are very much more stimulated to look for the information, in order to decide with awareness. 

Furthermore, the abstention, as a voting option, induces a regression of democracy. In fact, when abstention is among the options (well different to vote white card), the vote is less secret: it is in fact very easy, especially in the small communities, for the "authorities" to take note of the voters and non-voters. Therefore, the ones which suggest the abstention, wish in reality the return to dark ages (even darker than the current one), in which the citizens were the "flock", and the "shepherds" were like the masters. 

As far as I know, Italy is the only case, in Europe, in which the referendum is not valid if the 50% of the voters is not reached. 

Well, after so many civil battles carried on by the Radicals (and thanks God they exist, not casually ashamedly rejected by both the Italian major political wings!), why not to promote a referendum for: 

- to abolish the quorum on the referendum Italian low

- to admit proposal referendums too (no more only abrogative ones)? 

It would be a definite step ahead in direction of a true democratic and civil reform in this Country! 

Aim High! 

Adriano Autino 

BESIDES: 

TdF began a new course. We registered the heading at the authority (in a couple of weeks should have the number), we have a responsible director, and many initiatives are in pregnancy, a completely renewed site and a lot of other novelties, to keep the step with the birth of the space economy! 

If you want to know more, send a simple confirm message, or use the Registration form, to be inserted in the mailing list of the TdF' Partners: it is free of charge, and you will be part of one of the few Clubs turned to the future! 

[010.AA.TDF.2005 - 09.06.2005]