It is perhaps premature to focus on the Cardano Constitution first

From a historical perspective, constitutions are a late edition in the structure of democracy and law, with the earliest example being Corpus Juris Civilis, or Body of Civil Law by Roman Emperor Justinian of Constantinople in 1583.

The oldest surviving constitution of a sovereign state is the Constitution of San Marino (1600), based on the Corpus Juris Civilis and still in use today. Appropriately, predating the American constitution by 200 years.

If a constitution articulates the rights of citizens that institutions, procedures and legislation must not infringe upon, and which the state must strive to ensure. Politically, it establishes, distributes and limits governmental power and provides mechanisms for deliberating and deciding on public policy.

And, if we replace “citizens” with “members” or “users”, “institutions”, “state” and “government” with “structures”, and legislation and policy with “code”, we are closer to what we wish to achieve for the Voltaire era. This then should make us contemplate, what are the “structures” here? This exact question is what we need to concentrate on first.

What are the structures needed for governance on Cardano? We need to look at the real world development of democracy through history a little.

Our earliest ancestors were hunter-gatherers, probably living in small family groups, with several families working together for survival. These groups would also be a part of an extended community over a larger area, coming together every so often for trade and the sharing of resources and information. We know, from modern examples of hunter-gatherers, that the forms of cooperation and dispute resolution were advanced enough to be considered a form of governance. Here communities may have had a single leader, supported by a group of elders (heads of families), or just the group of elders.

The next level in society is based on agriculture and animal husbandry (approximately, 10,000 BCE to 1700 CE), and it during this time that we start to see examples of governance more closely resembling what we think of as democracy today, with the Ancient Greeks a prime example.

It wasn’t until 2254 BCE that we start to see the formation of “guilds”, as workers in different industrial processes banded together to protect themselves and their rights, since landowners had greater representation in much early governance.

Ending the history here.

This is actually where we currently stand with governance for Cardano, and it can be seen in the results and analysis of Catalyst voting and the recently completed vote for Catalyst Circle. “Landowners” can easily be replaced by “whale addresses”, but “guilds”? Do we have any structures approaching guilds yet?

What I am seeing is a lot of directionless clamouring about the constitution. Groups splitting off into closed channels on Discord, others directing us to GitHub to discuss the same. We really need to stick to a single place (Governance - Cardano Forum) and hold all discussion here.

Before we can seriously contemplate the constitution, we need to identify the stakeholders, form structures for these stakeholders, and decide on what kind of voting system we need to best suit each structure. Will it be one person one vote, representative voting, weighted voting, do different structures govern better with different voting structures? Then, after this is done, I believe it will be less complicated to develop the constitution. One should also realise that amendments are always possible as addendum.

Before anyone says, but that’s not how X country’s constitution was done, well actually it was. The American Constitution for example, which many modern nations have copied, came out of the convention to amend the Articles of Confederation, the previous constitution of America, by 55 delegates of the 13 states (structures).

Thank you for taking the time to read, and I look forward to your comments.