User:Pipe-1141-ZeleaCom:Self legislating

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This branch will define the minimal components of a constitution for a self-legislating citizenry. What must the constitution contain in order to secure the citizens' capacity for self legislation through the foreseeable future?d1

Abstract hotspot: Right of free expression19d2


  1. ^ The function of a legislature requires that its members be able to speak freely. A common name for a legislature derives from the Old French "parlement" (parliament), which means speaking. The same requirement holds for the members of a self-legislating citizenry; as legislators, they too must be able to speak freely. Freedom of expression among the citizens must therefore be guaranteed.
  2. ^ The political regime vs. press freedom data are posted at
  3. ^ Freedom House, Freedom of the Press.
  4. ^ Polity IV Project: Political regime characteristics and transitions, 1800-2012.
  5. ^ An autocracy is here defined as having a Polity IV AUTOC score of 6 to 10 inclusive.4 This is slightly broader than the conventional definition of a POLITY sum -6 to -10, because it excludes any counter-balancing democratic characteristics. Consequently some of the resulting autocracies might have been defined more conventionally as anocracies.
  6. ^ In the years when Freedom House published separate measures for print and broadcast media, there are several cases in which print media are measured as free F while broadcast media are only partly free PF. These are Brazil in 1979 and 80; Panama in 1980; and Bangladesh in 1982. Here these are interpreted as being overall PF, not F.
  7. ^ Reporters sans Frontières, Press Freedom Index.
  8. ^ Reporters sans Frontières also published an index during part of this period, 2002-12,7 but it lacks definite categories of freedom to compare with those of the Freedom House index.
  9. ^ Prudence in light of historical evidence requires that freedom of expression be guaranteed. Among all states that exclude their citizens from political participation, e.g. by shielding powerful officers from the necessity of periodic elections, none tolerates freedom of expression among its citizens; all systematically censor or suppress their communications. This is shown by joining two sets of historical data: political regime classifications on the one hand, and indeces of press freedom on the other.2 The answer is necessarily qualified because there are different degrees of both political exclusion and free speech, different methods of measurement, and the coverage is limited. But looking at the period during which Freedom House published its index of press freedom, 1979-2012,3 gives a clear enough answer. The number of major independent autocracies varied during this period from a high of roughly 80 to a low of 20.5 None are classified as having a free press (F) except Nigeria in 1988; at all other times and places, the autocratic regime allowed the press only partial freedom PF, or no freedom at all NF.68 Historical evidence thus indicates that freedom of expression is an effective obstacle to political exclusion, one that autocrats find necessary to suppress. It must therefore be guaranteed against such suppression, and the need of this guarantee understood by the citizens if they are to be prudently secure in their capacity for self legislation.