Procedure for the Integration, Protection, and Representation of Minority Groups In Society and Law

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Procedure for the Integration, Protection, and Representation of Minority Groups In Society and Law

Post by Red Aegis on Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:20 am

Minority groups should be under the protection of a constitution that has been ratified by an overwhelming majority. Protection from a zealous majority that could end up attempting to pass laws prohibiting actions of a different culture within the greater society that we can call nationality is a necisity. This may not be seen as a problem for some, as it could be democratically passed; however, such a law may in fact violate the human rights accepted by the sub-culture. This highlights the need of a democratic supermajority to decide what these unalienable human rights would be before any laws are created that may come into conflict with any non-agreed to rights.

The reason that these rights must be decided with a supermajority, at least two thirds, is to simplify the curve of different views on what rights should be. What I mean by this is that when a lot of people hold different things in high esteem, such things should be treated with respect, leaving only the most fringe views being ignored. That way there is a wide agreement as to what is and is not appropriate to do. To do this with a nation would be very difficult indeed; however, it is necessary if we hope to establish a new type of society. An example of this process at work can be found in the US constitution. This was done in the situation of no law respecting any church: protection of other religious practices and practitioners. This is seen as reasonable to all but the most fringe of the american people, and, therefore, obviously has the consent of a supermajority. The reason that such a vast range should be allowed is that most of the views would be taken into account without angering any sizable minority that could object.

The bell curve of political has at it's ends two unpleasable groups that could wish to impose their views in the same way as a hypothetical majority would. These groups would be less representative of the population as a whole however, and would be espousing positions that would argue against the interests of a supermajority, including the conventional majority and other more moderate sub-groups. Without these fringes there would be a greater chance of consensus among the population that would define what laws may and may not legislate.

This ideal consensus is impossible, sadly. The two fringes refuse to play along with the rest of the curve and agree on something. This is so by the very nature of the described political bell curve of perceptions of human rights. The closest that we can come to is a supermajority.

In summation, there will always be groups that want to legislate clearly against the whole of society's wishes. The best way to counter act this is to form a list of unalienable, nearly unchallengable human rights. The best way to form this list is through a supermajority that excludes only the most radical, as in controversial, ideas. We must consider how to go about this, but first, are there any critiques of this short essay?

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Re: Procedure for the Integration, Protection, and Representation of Minority Groups In Society and Law

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:42 am

Red Aegis wrote:In summation, there will always be groups that want to legislate clearly against the whole of society's wishes. The best way to counter act this is to form a list of unalienable, nearly unchallengable human rights. The best way to form this list is through a supermajority that excludes only the most radical, as in controversial, ideas. We must consider how to go about this, but first, are there any critiques of this short essay?

A few examples would have been helpful, but I believe I comprehended the gist of your thesis nonetheless. There is, however, something of a flaw in the methodology you favor. If your concern is protecting the rights of minority groups by way of establishing constitutional protections, ratified on the basis of a supermajority vote, who exactly would be permitted to vote on such legislation? The answer to that question has very important implications. Take gay marriage in the United States, for example. When one of the most progressive states in the nation (California) was allowed to vote on whether to eliminate the rights of same-sex couples to marry, the California Marriage Protection Act—which does precisely that—passed with 52.4% of the vote. I suspect that if the question were put to the entire nation, a supermajority would oppose gay marriage as well. The bell curve would thus indicate that the majority of the nation is mildly homophobic, with two extremist factions (one, of course, being completely tolerant and supportive of LGBT rights, the other being obsessively homophobic).

The Constitution of the United States was essentially drafted and ratified by a small elite of men whose primary interest was the protection of private property rights. The establishment of a socialist constitution obviously must be more inclusive than that. The best hope for minority interest groups, in my opinion, is that the principle of self-management in all domains of life—i.e., that one should have the right to participate in decisions in proportion to the degree they're affected by the outcomes—will be widely accepted by the end of the revolution. However, even this liberatory principle can impact minority groups in certain negative ways. The only other solution, then, is to adopt a form of dual federalism, which will decentralize policies pertaining to cultural matters, thereby allowing minority groups the freedom to move to and live in communities legislated in their favor. Morality isn't static, so it's likely that the United States will eventually be as accepting of alternative lifestyles as certain northern European nations currently are, but such shifts in the moral zeitgeist take a great deal of time and effort. In the interim, dual federalism in the sphere of morality and culture seems like a reasonable approach to me.

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Re: Procedure for the Integration, Protection, and Representation of Minority Groups In Society and Law

Post by RedSun on Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:08 pm

I'm not a fan of my country's reformist Communist Party, but here's a good idea of theirs:

The Communist Party of Canada wrote:The Communist Party proposes a confederal republic with a government consisting of two chambers; one, such as the House of Commons today, would be based on representation by population, elected through a new system of proportional representation. The other chamber – a House of Nationalities – which would replace the present Senate, would be composed of an equal number of elected representatives from Quebec and from English-speaking Canada, with guaranteed and significant representation from the Aboriginal peoples, Acadians and the Metis. Each chamber should have the right to initiate legislation, but both would have to adopt the legislation for it to become law. Furthermore the Aboriginal peoples must have the right to veto, on all matters pertaining to their national development. This structure will protect both fundamental democratic principles: equality of the rights of nations whatever their size, and majority rule. Structural changes reflecting this confederal arrangement would need to be made throughout the legal system and state apparatus.

Something to think about for any multinational state. I think we can also learn from Switzerland, which is both multinational and governed by a council.

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Re: Procedure for the Integration, Protection, and Representation of Minority Groups In Society and Law

Post by Red Aegis on Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:11 pm

You're right that a few examples would have been helpful, but it was also 4:30 in the morning.

I think that the fact that the US constitutional writers were interested in protecting property is irrelevant to my points. Though I completely agree that such was the case.

I'll have to look further into dual federalism. I assume that it's what RedSun was talking about.

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Re: Procedure for the Integration, Protection, and Representation of Minority Groups In Society and Law

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:34 pm

Red Aegis wrote:I think that the fact that the US constitutional writers were interested in protecting property is irrelevant to my points. Though I completely agree that such was the case.

I only mentioned that to highlight the highly restrictive manner by which our current constitution was drafted and ratified, and to juxtapose it with the more inclusive approach a socialist state will have to employ. In other words, if elites are exclusively charged with the task of drafting legislation (as they are under capitalism), it's relatively easier to make laws protecting the rights of minority groups.

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"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
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Re: Procedure for the Integration, Protection, and Representation of Minority Groups In Society and Law

Post by Red Aegis on Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:37 pm

I absolutely agree with you there Celt.

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