London School Of Economics Wants To Crowdsource A Constitution For The UK

from the fun-discussion dept

We've written a few times about the attempt in Iceland to crowdsource a new Constitution. While that's had some political troubles, despite widespread public support, it seems others are taking note. The folks over at the London School of Economics recently decided it might be a fun thought experiment to see if it would be possible to crowdsource a Constitution for the UK. While many are aware of things like the Magna Carta, which in many ways laid the groundwork for the US Constitution, the UK today does not have a single written constitutional document -- meaning that there is no effective restriction on the UK Parliament's actions (as the US Constitution restricts Congress in the US).

There have been a number of online discussions about ideas for this crowdsourced Constitution on the site linked above, which are worth reading, but recently the LSE held an event to do some of the crowdsourcing live, which they then released as a podcast (on a sidenote: if you're interested in economics or world politics, I highly recommend the LSE podcast). The discussion is well worth listening to. They take a somewhat lighthearted approach to the whole thing, and it gets pretty amusing at a few points, but the discussion is still fascinating, as they debate concepts like whether or not the right to be treated equally belongs in a Constitution (and further, what does the statement even mean). There's also a spirited argument made for not having a Constitution at all (and a rebuttal for why a Constitution would be really helpful).
While it's unlikely that anything actually binding or important will come out of this process, it's somewhat fascinating even to think through the process of making a Constitution, and it's fun to see the LSE attempt to do the whole thing publicly.

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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 15 Oct 2013 @ 3:54am

    Re: Re:

    "a true democracy perhaps, where citizens can genuinely have a voice and each voice counts no matter how much money they have"

    I'm no political scientist, but as I understand it no "true" system is really desirable. For example, a "true" democracy leaves people vulnerable to the "tyranny of the majority" where minority groups can be unfairly marginalised and downtrodden. Similarly, a "true" capitalist system would lack the socialist safety nets that keeps the most vulnerable out of complete destitution.

    We can agree that getting money and corporate influence out of politics is the way forward, but how to do this and where the best place to go would be are very much open to debate.

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