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Re: "Usefull languages"

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Sunday, February 24, 2002, 21:11
En réponse à Padraic Brown <agricola@...>:

> Am 20.02.02, Christophe Grandsire yscrifef: > > > Here it is: Enjoy! > :)) > > Thanks! Even though I can't agree that it's "better" than ours, > it's certainly an education to read through it. I like the links > comparing it to other constitutions around the world, so you can > see others' perspectives. It says pretty much everything ours > says, if at times more explicitly. >
Nonsense! If your Constitution has an article against discrimination, call your governement, because it's anti-constitutional then... As for the explicitness, it's necessary to prevent misreadings. Something many constitutions could take example on (and I'm thinking of the French Constitution when saying that).
> I must say, though, that I found it excessively longwinded and > prone to micromanagement - or should that be "comprehensive" and > "thorough in governmental scope"? ;)
Well, according to the layman of Holland (who often has had his part in it like most Dutch people), it must be, since they often know a big deal of it, much more than any American knows the American Constitution. 142 Articles, plus 29
> accessory Articles is way too much detail (even considering that > A24-49 pertain to the King). A constitution should exist in order > to set the basic bounds and duties of Government - not to > establish the moral and ethical life of the citizenry.
Well, then we have a different definition of a constitution. A constitution is there to give the basic bricks of the society people want to build. If the constitution doesn't address that, I don't see the point of having it. Instead, you'll have to have tons of contradicting laws that will make everything difficult for everyone (it's the state in France for instance). Having all the basic bricks in a single document is also a way to get a little less bureaucracy, as well as making the law easier understandable. And although it's not perfect, it's far easier than in most other countries. Nor should
> it really micromanage the government from the King on down the > janitors. >
At least, everyone in the government knows where his/her place is it's much better than having that done by tons of laws like it's done in the US.
> While I do like some of the first articles and how they lay out > certain concepts; I really find the rambling approach a little > tedious. I also don't like the lack of a Preamble - that really > sets the tone of the whole document. >
Yep, let's be direct and not talk more than needed. A very Dutch approach to things: if what you have to say is not important to the matter, what's the point of it? I always found Preambles annoying: what's the point of them? If they are articles of the Constitution, why aren't they simply in the Constitution? It would prevent them to be seen like a simple decoration. What is taken care of by the first articles of the Dutch Constitution is taken care of by the Preamble of the French Constitution. The difference is that while the first articles of the Constitution are considered important for the Dutch people for their everyday use, the Preamble of the French Constitution is just considered as a decoration meant to give people good conscience, and still do whatever they want. When the first article of the Dutch Constitution says that discrimination of any kind is forbidden, it's a rule of society, to which every law, firm and association has to abide. When the first article of the Preamble of the French Constitution says that one of the basic rights is equality, that's just decoration. It looks nice, but it's not followed even by the most basic laws. That's what the Dutch understood: a constitution is supposed to be a working document, not a declaration of intentions. So if that makes it tedious, so be it. But at least it's useful. And remember that the Dutch Constitution was in fact written by the Dutch people itself. It only contains what the people themselves wanted. Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.


Padraic Brown <agricola@...>