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Freedom and constitutionality

The idea of freedom and democracy is not a cliché; it means something that is to be activated. The idea of a free world or society has implications that require a structure in order to be perpetuated with integrity and believers willing to stand, more importantly, for it to exist.

Donald Trump made the mistake of thinking the United States presidency was all about him (File photograph by Carolyn Kaster/AP)

In an intrinsic way, all ideas have benefits even if the lesson learnt demonstrates what not to do. If an idea is of national or global usefulness, then the input and processes surrounding it need to be mutually considered by the entirety of that nation. Now that's the ideal, one rarely accomplished. It is not a democracy when a thought becomes the exclusive decision of one or two persons’ particular bias; there is another name for that.

Fortunately in our jurisdiction, whether it was by wisdom or, as in many cases “copycat” legislation, Bermuda does have many indicators as an attempt to include the public such as in a planning permission requirement there is a process for public redress, and the facility to launch an idea for public consideration. Even if the requirement for public input is copycat, it then would have derived as many other standards — from evolutionary experience in advanced jurisdictions.

The idea of freedom and democracy is experiential and not a stamp, which one adorns on oneself by virtue of an electoral process. We don't vote in a monarch to govern what effectively becomes their dominion. Unfortunately, that appeared as the problem of President Donald Trump, who believes the Government, the party and all the ministries work for him to fulfil his personal mandate. Oddly enough, it was a contest hard-fought when 74 million supported his agenda.

Constitutionality was created to become that true governor of state affairs. Good constitutionality creates a construct that levels the field for everyone and the basis upon which everyone becomes equal. If the leadership of any kind rules by their own implicit bias, they usurp the rights of of their subordinates. Under such circumstance, there is no democracy; it is a tyranny of sorts.

Cultivating that sense of constitutional responsibility is a hard-fought battle everywhere.

“The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance”.

When we stray from that principle, society is automatically punished. Democracy is the tool against authoritarianism of any kind. Too often agendas and even worthy causes have resulted in populism, subsequently driven by a singular voice.

Mutual consultation is not just a nice idea; it is fundamental to human progress. Invariably societies will have conflicts within. The best solutions are those arrived at mutually.

Yes, at times, issues are unresolvable and can end in war, but the best solutions come through mutual peace. It is said "without vision, the people perish". The reason for that is because without vision, we have division.

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Published November 24, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated November 23, 2020 at 5:55 pm)

Freedom and constitutionality

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