What is the Cardano Constitution?

In CIP 1694 @JaredCorduan describes the Cardano Constituion as:

The Constitution is a text document that defines Cardano’s shared values and guiding principles. At this stage, it is meant to be an informational document that unambiguously captures the Cardano core values. At a later stage, we can imagine the Constitution perhaps evolving into a smart-contract-based set of rules driving the entire governance framework. For now, however, the Constitution will remain an off-chain document whose hash digest value will be recorded on-chain.

In the ScotFest Keynote, Charles went into detail on the Constitution and what it means to have a constitution that is machine understandable (starting from timestamp 19:29):

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Hi,

I found both these video chats enlightening as to what to expect as we move forward with Voltaire.

Hope you will also gain value from watching.

Thanks,

Joey

56 views Dec 7, 2022

The age of Voltaire will continue the transformation of the Cardano network to a self-sustaining system, defining the foundational standards for community-driven governance in blockchain technology. In this two-part segment, you’ll hear from IOG’s Constellation program director, Johnny Nguyen, and Product Manager Michael Madoff on the age of Voltaire and finally, the team concludes with a fireside chat including Charles to answer your governance questions. And if you’re interested in participating in the MBO, you can register at cardanombo.org.

Empowering community-driven governance on Cardano.

1,444 views Dec 7, 2022

Putting the community at the heart of Cardano’s future, the new member-based organization will create a channel for its ongoing participation in Cardano’s development and roadmap – and guarantee the continued growth of a safe, secure, and collaborative ecosystem. IOG CEO & Founder Charles Hoskinson sat down with IOG’s Chief Legal Officer Joel Telpner to discuss the next steps in the creation of the MBO, particularly around the drafting of a new constitution.

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There seems to be some confusion between the concepts of what is a Constitution and a Declaration of community values.

A Constitution contains the highest level of laws that pertains to governance.

Generally, every modern written constitution confers specific powers on an organisation or institutional entity, established upon the primary condition that it abides by the constitution’s limitations.
Constitution - Wikipedia

A Declaration of values, such as Universal Declaration of Human Rights | United Nations can also be known as a Manifesto.

A manifesto is a published declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government. Manifesto - Wikipedia

When we look at the history of the American Constitution, the many state backed Declarations of Civil Rights were left out because the

delegates were tired and wanted to go home. The Constitution was approved by the Constitutional Convention and sent to the states for ratification without a bill of rights. The Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights | Constitution Center

These were added to the Constitution 3 years later as the first 10 Amendments and became known as the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, these were largely ignored until the 20th century

when the Supreme Court began vigorously to apply the Bill of Rights against the states, that the document became the centerpiece of contemporary struggles over liberty and equality. The Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights | Constitution Center

I’ve gone into some detail of the American experience, since this is what I see developing for Cardano governance. It seems we are going down the road to a Constitutional Committee or Senate, dReps or Representatives, with SPOs perhaps functioning as local governance representatives. Is truly the best we can come up with? It looks like this has already been decided for us as the method Cardano governance will take. CIPs/CIP-1694 at voltaire-v1 · JaredCorduan/CIPs · GitHub

There is more than one governance structure we can model after. My own belief is that we have an opportunity to attempt a more radical form of governance for some areas. I list below some references I’ve discovered while researching different governance styles so far.

Supporting Constitution Builders Globally | ConstitutionNet
What Is a Constitution? Principles and Concepts
Short Manifesto Examples
How to Write a Meaningful Purpose Statement in Five Steps

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