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The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of BelloCaprica

The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of BelloCaprica

BelloCaprica’s motto is “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité ou la Mort,” ”Freedom, Equality, and Unity or Death.” The nation is a federal-based socialist democracy with a very rich and deeply rooted culture going all the way back to its original settlers. One of the most important BelloCaprican cultural symbols is the lion, BelloCaprica’s national animal, which represents bravery, beauty, strength, authority, and valor. The broadly diversified BelloCaprican economy is largely dependent on Tourism, Book Publishing, Information Technology, and Renewable Energy. The following document hereby constitutes the code by which both the government and citizens of BelloCaprica shall live and govern.

Contents

Article 1. Freedom of Expression
Article 2. Discrimination
Article 3. Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises
Article 4. Suffrage
Article 5. Due Process
Article 6. Eminent Domain, Conscription, and Slavery
Article 7. Freedom of Religion
Article 8. The Right to Marriage
Article 9. Birthrights
Article 10. Unreasonable Search and Seizure
Article 11. Leadership
Article 12. Provinces
Article 13. Elections and Prime Ministerial Succession
Article 14. Qualifications for Office
Article 15. Number of Terms in Office
Article 16. Amendments by Referendum
Article 17. The Right to Bear Arms

Article 1. Freedom of Expression

Section 1
All citizens and foreign nationals within BelloCaprica shall enjoy the right to free speech, freedom of the honest press, freedom to assemble, and the freedom to petition the government or any other organization for a redress of grievances.

Article 2. Discrimination

Section 1
"Euclid’s first common notion is this, 'Things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.' That’s a rule of mathematical reasoning. It is true because it works; always has done and always will do. In his book, Euclid say this is 'self-evident.' There it is, even in that more than two-thousand-year old book of mechanical law: it is a self-evident truth that things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other. We begin with equality. That’s balance, that’s fairness, that’s justice."

No discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, religious belief, sexual identity or orientation, native language, or national origin shall exist within BelloCaprica.

Section 2
Discrimination based on physical ability, where necessary to adequately perform needed tasks; or religious discrimination within explicitly religious organizations, shall be legal.

Article 3. Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises

Section 1
The Parliament shall have the power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of BelloCaprica. Taxes shall be relative to the overall wealth of the individual, but all Duties, Imposts, and Excises shall be uniform throughout the state of BelloCaprica;
—Within reason, to borrow money on the credit of BelloCaprica;
—To regulate commerce with foreign nations, as well as among the other nations belonging to the region of Lazarus;
—To establish post offices and post roads;
—To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times (7 years initially, 14 years upon renewal) to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings, discoveries, and other creations;
—To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
—To provide and mantain a military.

Article 4. Suffrage

Section 1
Any citizen who has reached the age of seventeen years and beyond shall enjoy the right to vote in any provincial election. Any citizen who has reached the age of eighteen years and beyond shall enjoy the right to vote in any national election.

Section 2
The Parliament of BelloCaprican shall pass no acts restricting the voting power of any citizen on the grounds of sex, gender, race, religious belief, nation of origin, native language, or sexual identity or orientation.

Article 5. Due Process

Section 1
In suits at common law, where the value of controversy shall exceed one hundred dollars, the right of trial by 12-person jury shall be preserved.

Section 2
When any court finds in favor of one party to a suit, the opposing party shall be responsible for any costs the other has suffered.

Section 3
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury, and to informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him/her; to obtain witnesses in his/her favor, and to have the assistance of Counsel for his/her defense.

No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against him/herself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

Article 6. Eminent Domain, Conscription, and Slavery

Section 1
Except for the case of prisoners working manual labor, no individual shall be kept within the nation of BelloCaprica as an unpaid worker against their will. Similarly, the government and law enforcement are forbidden from the use of cruel or unusual punishment, including the death penalty, against any citizen of BelloCaprica. No form of slavery or involuntary servitude shall exist within the borders of BelloCaprica, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted with due process of law. In addition, no form of conscription shall exist within BelloCaprica.

Section 2
No private property shall be taken for public use except in cases of imminent catastrophe, and with just compensation. To ensure that these cases really are catastrophic, an event shall only qualify as a “case of imminent catastrophe” if voted by the national Parliament.

Article 7. Freedom of Religion

Section 1
Every citizen and foreign national shall have the right to practice any religion of their choosing, or maintain a lack thereof. The BelloCaprican Parliament will pass no law which restricts an individual’s right to religious freedom.

Section 2
No religious test shall be required to hold public office in the Democratic Republic of BelloCaprica.

Section 3
No law shall be passed with religious code as the sole basis for its existence. The Parliament of BelloCaprica shall not pass any act which inflicts the beliefs of one religious group upon another, or upon a secular group.

Article 8. The Right to Marriage

Section 1
The right to marriage shall not be denied to any couple of any sexuality, as long as both participants are over the age of twenty.

Marriage shall be defined as a legal contract and/or ritually recognized union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws.

Article 9. Birthrights

Section 1
All persons born or naturalized in BelloCaprica, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of BelloCaprica and of the state wherein they reside. No province shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of BelloCaprica; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2
No person shall be a Representative in Parliament, or elector of Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, or hold any office, civil or military, under BelloCaprica, or under any province, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Parliament, or as an officer of BelloCaprica, or as a member of any provincial legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of BelloCaprica, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

Section 3
The validity of the public debt of BelloCaprica, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither BelloCaprica nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against BelloCaprica; but all such debts, obligations, and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 4
Citizenship shall also be granted to foreigners who have lived in BelloCaprica for six or more years, and who are not criminals, by BelloCaprican law. If an individual has lived in BelloCaprica for six or more years and has a criminal history, the matter shall be taken to court.

Section 5
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Article 10. Unreasonable Search and Seizure

Section 1
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, vehicles, houses, businesses, and other private property, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be infringed.

Article 11. Leadership

Section 1
The Prime Minister of BelloCaprica shall be elected every five years by the people of the nation. The Prime Minister’s powers include:
Absolute commander of the army, navy, and police force during wartimes or during a state of emergency, which he/she has the power to declare;
The power to immediately veto any act passed by the BelloCaprican Parliament (subject to Parliamentary override);
Some control over which items are discussed before the Parliament, though the Prime Minister’s power in the Parliament can be struck down by a 70% majority.

Section 2
The Parliament of BelloCaprica shall be made up of 200 representatives from BelloCaprica’s four provinces. These seats shall be allotted to each province according to that province’s population; i.e., a province making up 25% of the total population would receive fifty seats.

Section 3
In the case that the system described above results in a province needing a fraction of a seat, one seat shall be added to the board until the percentage equalizes.

Section 4
Elections for the members of the BelloCaprican Parliament shall occur every two years. It is their responsibility to pass laws, or acts, in the interest of the nation.

Section 5
An act may be proposed by any member of Parliament, or it may be proposed by any citizen if accompanied by over 3,000 signatures. All acts proposed will be debated, with both point and counter-point being allotted equal time, if requested, to give their ideas. This debate will be presided over by the Prime Minister.

Section 6
In order to pass, an act must receive 52% or more of the Parliamentary votes. If an act is vetoed by the Prime Minister, it may be voted on again, but in order to bypass the veto, it must win a 75% majority.

Section 7
The Parliament also has the power to make amendments to this Constitution. These amendments must pass by a 60% majority.

Article 12. Provinces

Section 1
The nation shall be divided into the four provinces that are currently in existence: Northern BelloCaprica, Montagna Della Neve, Floresta di Acqua, and the BelloCaprican Barrier Islands.

Section 2
Each of these provinces shall have their own Parliament, with the duty of passing acts for that province. These members of Parliament shall be elected by the citizens of that given province.

Section 3
The laws passed by the provincial Parliament may be independent of the acts passed by the Federal Parliament. However, they may not contradict federal acts.

Section 4
Each province shall have a Governor, elected by the citizens of that province, who bears the responsibility of enforcing acts passed by the provincial Parliament.

Article 13. Elections and Prime Ministerial Succession

Section 1
Elections for the major elected governmental posts shall occur regularly by the following pattern: Prime Minister/Deputy Prime Minister, every five years; Seats in Parliament, every two years; Provincial Governors, every three years; Provincial Parliament Seats, every two years. These shall be direct votes by referendum. All votes will be counted, and the candidate who wins the higher total shall have the position. In all elections, any candidate, after the results are released, may demand one recount. For Prime Minister/Deputy Prime Minister elections, a candidate must win a 60% majority to win the position. Judges of the Supreme Court, appointed by the Prime Minister, shall serve terms of fifteen years.

Section 2
In the unlikely event that a Prime Minister should die, resign, or be impeached while in office, an Interim Prime Minister shall take his/her place. This Interim Prime Minister will be the Deputy Prime Minister if the Prime Minister has died or if only the Prime Minister has been impeached and not the Deputy Prime Minister, which, one would assume, would rarely be the case. If either the Prime Minister has resigned or both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister have been impeached, the longest-serving member of the Parliamentary party majority shall become the Interim Prime Minister. The Interim Prime Minister’s term will end when the Prime Minister they are replacing’s term was originally scheduled to end. At that point, another election will be held as usual. If an individual has served as the Interim Prime Minister and they wish to run for the position of Prime Minister, their term as Interim Prime Minister shall not count as one of their two terms.

Section 3
If the Parliament so chooses, it has the power to impeach the Prime Minister and/or the Deputy Prime Minister. However, a majority vote of 80% is necessary to do this. Should an impeachment be proposed and fail, it may be attempted twice more during a given Prime Ministerial term.

Article 14. Qualifications for Office

Section 1
In order for an individual to qualify as a candidate for the Prime Minister of BelloCaprica, an individual must be over the age of 25 and either have been born in BelloCaprica or have lived in BelloCaprica for at least 15 years.

Section 2
In order for a person to qualify as a candidate for a seat in the BelloCaprican Parliament, an individual must be over the age of 25 and either have been born in BelloCaprica or have lived in BelloCaprica for at least 10 years. In addition, they must be a citizen of the province they wish to represent.

Section 3
Candidates for both provincial Governor and provincial Parliament must be over the age of 25 and a citizen of the province they wish to run in.

Article 15. Number of Terms in Office

Section 1
A Prime Minister of BelloCaprica shall only be allowed to serve two terms (excluding any spent as interim Prime Minister).

Section 2
There shall be no limit to the number of terms that the members of Parliament can serve, so long as they are honestly elected by the people.

Section 3
The rules of Section 2 also apply to provincial officials (Governors and provincial Parliamentary Representatives).

Article 16. Amendments by Referendum

Section 1
Citizens of BelloCaprica may propose Amendments to the Constitution to the Parliament if accompanied by 5,000 signatures. If accompanied by 10,000 signatures, Parliament is required to bring it to a vote.

Section 2
Should Parliament fail to pass the Amendment in question, the citizens may organize a referendum; if more than 40% of the eligible population votes on the issue and it receives 60% or more of that vote it shall be added to the Constitution of BelloCaprica as a new amendment.

Article 17. The Right to Bear Arms

Section 1
The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. This excludes handguns, automatic and semi-automatic weapons, which are for military and police use only.

Section 2
No guns shall be issued, however, without a proper background check performed. This background check must prove that the person in question is not dangerous and is 100% mentally stable and capable.

Section 3
No handguns, automatic or semi-automatic weapons shall be used for any non-military or non-police purpose, or be in the possession of any person not belonging to the military or police forces of BelloCaprica.

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