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The problem with the US Constitution is that its almost impossible to change it, so it hasn't been amended as problems became apparent. The last successful amendment was in 1992, and it took 202 years for it to be passed. An amendment prohibiting child labour, for instance, has been pending since 1924, with no sign of it being passed... It is hardly surprising that a document, largely the product of 18th. century thinking, is no longer fit for purpose.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 9th, 2019 at 10:22:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the US problem is the same as the UK: voters trend to the right and the ultra-right takes over on a populist ticket. Same things threatens to happen in France, which has a much more recent (and amendable) written constitution.

It's political in the broad sense.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing, nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 07:15:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you mistake current political trends for a universal principle of politics. Yes, countries have their populist right wing periods, but they can also have good and constructive leadership and progressive periods.

The fact that the Catholic Church and conservative allies managed to insert an outright ban on abortion into the Irish Constitution in 1983 doesn't mean that it could never be reversed, because the democratic processes were there to do just that.

Increasing economic inequality has been driving political polarisation in most "western" countries with the right in the ascendant. It need not, and won't always be that way...

I also agree a written constitution is no panacea for other ills, but it places the ownership of a state in the hands of the people rather than in the hands of an elite of lawyers, politicians, royalists and murky background money.

In time the people can learn to exercise their ownership wisely: the problem with the UK is that the constitution and FPTP electoral system makes politics an irrelevance for most people, and so their ignorance of what is really going on becomes profound.

People don't engage with what they cannot control. In this case the EU became the fall-guy, when the real problems are much closer to home.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 11:52:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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