In many ways, a constitution is a BigDesignUpFront
for a nation. Or it could be viewed as a SelfModifyingGame
. -- OleAndersen
Or both. Setup the rules based on experience and negotiation and the include paths
Actually the UnitedStatesConstitution
may be better viewed as something that evolved "just in time". It was sort of "XP Government". First there was a single-house legislature, the ContinentalCongress?
. This body (lacking an executive and judiciary) was slow moving, inefficient, and lacked almost any power to govern. The second try, the ArticlesOfConfederation?
, did not address the structural issues and is widely viewed as a total failure. The third try, which was partially based on ideas previously expressed in the Massachusetts constitution (e.g., a bicameral legislature and a separate executive) and other state constitutions, was the one that finally worked, although the basic structural issues were further refined through Marbury v Madison (e.g. JudicialReview?
), the South Carolina Nullification Crisis (states cannot invalidate federal laws) and of course, the AmericanCivilWar?
(the federal compact cannot be unilaterally dissolved).
The study of constitutions is probably best analyzed by the school of PublicChoice?
, whose brightest luminary is JamesBuchanan?
, the winner of the 1986 NobelPrize
It might be interesting to do CRC cards for the government.
- Creates treaties.
- Enforces laws - Congress
- Can veto new laws - Congress
- Posts judges - Supreme Court
- Creates laws
- Passes treaties - President
- Can override a presidential veto - President
- Can try and convict members of both of the other branches, and cause them to be removed from office - President, Supreme Court
- Allocates funding for Federal projects - States, President
- Supreme Court
- Interprets laws - Congress
- Can refuse to treat a law as valid or enforceable - President
- Everything else.
Giving all other powers to states is a good example of delegation. There is a good separation of concerns. Perhaps the Supreme Court is a TestingFramework
of a sort. And the President is a StrategyPattern
The American Constitution has served as a pattern for other constitutions, including some of the newest. For more on the US Constitution, See presentation by Albert P. Blaustein (1921-1994), who was professor of law at Rutgers.
"America's Founding Fathers drafted the world's first written constitution more than 200 years ago. The legacy of that historical document is evident today in the constitutions of most of the world's democracies, and it continues to influence drafters of the very newest constitutions. Celebrating this important document, a distinguished constitutional scholar discusses how the Philadelphia model helped to change the world and how it continues to be a model for democratic governance." -- http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/itdhr/0304/ijde/blaustein.htm
(Pentagon -> BadlyTunedExhaust?(****))
THat used to be called