Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Constitution and How it Substantiates and Upholds the Alternative Plan

In this article I will substantiate constitutionally the 10 Steps that I had suggested as an alternative plan, since their constitutionality is not immediately apparent. It is however really curious how it is possible for the issue of constitutionality not to be brought on what the government is setting in motion (state protectionism of the banks) while every single one confesses at the same time that such government does away with crucial assets of the People and undermines and overrides completely Rights and privileges/safety valves stipulated in the Constitution.
To be able to see the following substantiation and in fact retain some hope of survival as an independent and free-thinking People, it is necessary for us to start adopting a more balanced and healthier way of thought (e.g., extend the same dispute and questioning we subject each other, to the state officials and power holders who operate under the mandate of the People).

It is, in other words necessary, to change the philosophy of the slave who submits to whomever power holder comes to pass (something we have been inculcated with the help of education and mass media) and come to grips with the fact that we have a Constitution (even in its current incomplete form) that addresses itself to Free Citizens who elect (that is through majority vote) and know how to put to check the wielders of power – representatives who man the state apparatus and their organizations, as well as discipline them and punish them.

The legal and Constitutional mechanisms exist and it is simply us that have allowed them to fall into disuse or degeneration (not at the legal level but) in practice / everyday life by every state-fed unionist, jurist, politician, etc.

To effect this kind of perceptual reorientation, we must, to begin with, always and ever keep in mind and apply on a daily basis the following two articles of the Constitution: Article 4 (par. 1,2,5,7), which means that since we enjoy Political Rights and that we have not been made ward of by a third party, or under prosecution by the justice, our own opinion and understanding of the Constitution is at least equal to that suggested by any elected official or other fellow citizens (i.e., journalists, constitution specialists, etc), so whenever there is disagreement as to what a Constitutional article means, it is not possible for only a single person or a minority to have the authority to uphold a particular meaning but it is up to the Citizens via a referendum, so that the plebiscite opinion be the one overruling all others as Democracy demands particularly when what is at stake is the future of the People or the Nation and its related sovereignty. Responsibility and liability accruing from it should be exercised on the principle of Proportionality and Equality for all (i.e., commensurate to the level or responsibility and the onus that this brings upon the holder).

We also have in mind article 120 (and specially pars 2,3,4) of the Constitution which place the responsibility for upholding and supporting such Constitution onto the Citizens themselves, who are obliged to be vigil and defend if when it is threatened, as a fundamental statutory Right and Obligation of all Greeks. Especially in combination with article 1, one can find all the essentials of the stance we should have as Citizens of this Country.

The ten steps that I had presented as an initial alternative plan to face the crisis, are supported by the fundamental principles of the Constitution.

The Constitution guarantees and secures to every Citizen of Greece particular Rights and demands particular obligations which cannot but be within the framework of Equality and Proportionality and Freedom that the Constitution itself has already stipulated.

In particular, and briefly due to space limitations, the articles that I have used as a legal backup to the Steps are truly simple but also terribly important. The Constitution stipulates that all Greeks are Equal before the Law (article 4, par. 1 and 2) and that no subtotal of the above can enjoy any different preferential treatment (article 4, par. 7). For reasons of brevity, I will refer myself only to the vital articles, but if we just read the Constitution through, having the state of mind I already described, we shall discern a multitude of related articles that support the Steps but also every other similar effort to this effect (i.e., article 5 and 5A, article 7, par. 2 and 3, etc). What you will never find support for in the Constitution is the securing of superpowers to any individual or subset of Citizens in opposition to the State. There are limits set for preferential treatments as well.

This means that beyond any legal issue from which (catachrestically) the elected public officers are protected from, they, too, are equal according to the Constitution to the rest of the Citizens before the Law, which means that the 1rst Step, that demands the correct enforcement of audit of property holdings is totally covered: With regard to their taxation, the principle of Equality and Proportionality will force them to subject themselves to at least similar taxable income depending on their scale (that, is, for big incomes) and on the huge immovable property (that many of them have under their name) that have been passed for the rest of the Citizens.

On the issue of the Church, the Constitution is absolutely clear that its Head is only Jesus Christ, and stipulates that to that effect the original scriptures in the Holy Bible are kept as originally intended which means that the Church is self-restrained by the Ten Commandments and Christ’s teachings as far as its worldly affairs are at least concerned: The Church should not demand preferential treatment in relation to its Flock, it should be there to lighten rather than burden society in which it exists, and in times of need, it should be the first to spread out the protective net instead of undermining the State and its Citizens as if it were just another multinational / NGO.

The Apostles themselves have shown what it means to serve the Church of Christ and this means that the 2nd Step is also covered by the same Constitutional Law (article 3, par 1 and 3).

Since the same law should apply on the Church exactly as it is applied on the Citizens, and since the Church is committed through the Scriptures to serve and not be master of the flock, the change in its property holdings does not run against the stipulations in the Constitution. The fact that at least during phase one, no status quo of clerics nor of worship is going to be affected whatsoever, is further proof that as far as the Citizens/Clerics, the Constitution secures their protection (as well as their private property) as well as of the others.

At this point I must stress that the church of Greece represents all Orthodox Greeks and therefore its property cannot be privately owned or be beyond criticism and taxation on the pretext of charity that it only knows and according to its will. The church is administrator of the property of the Orthodox Greeks (and that is why it enjoys legal use and possession of such property) but it is not its owner nor its master. It is obliged to be accountable to the faithful in the same way that the State is obliged to be accountable to its Citizens. This is a principle supported by the Scriptures (that are enforced by the Constitution) and we can analyze it in another article. Be reminded that the first Church under the Apostles as described in the Deeds was based on common ownership and its express purpose was the protection of every faithful from every socially-related difficulty he/she was met with, without prejudice, secrecy / questionable dealings / inequality between the faithful and the Apostles.

With respect to the rest of the Steps, from the civil servants up to the banks and the NGOs, various large-scale industrialists / capitalists, the Constitution covers every such action, both in terms of Equality and Proportionality as well as in terms of usefulness of the posts occupied by every civil servant: If the post is made redundant then there is no issue of tenure, but their own code and oath presupposes that bad behavior, illegal use of power, illicit income/ disloyalty and disregard for their oath, are legal reasons for termination of service in addition to other legal proceedings).

A multitude of people who have eaten into public property are under this status quo and are not protected by parliamentary immunity. This does not concern just the oath breaker from the inland revenue service, or city plan officer or policeman, etc., but also the respective managers, general secretaries and other officers of governing bodies, or other top administrators who are directly culpable for black money, frauds, destruction of Public Welfare Organizations, the property of Security Funds, every embezzling and wrong-doing/bankruptcy of public companies such as Olympic Airways, etc.

These are very summarily stated proofs for the constitutionality of the 10 Steps.

On the other hand of course, we can ( and we are obliged to) analyze the unconstitutional nature of government measures and they way they undo the Constitution and trod upon Human Rights, accruing absolutely no profit for the People, the Nation and the Country. Something that the Constitution itself forces us to face and put a stop to rather than tolerate.

For us to be able to do this, we should come to grips with the idea that the fact that we were tricked into voting party A or party B does not make us equally guilty in the fraud against us, just victims. For this reason we should separate our position in deed so as to avoid becoming equally culpable at the end.
What remains to be said is who shall apply such kind of remedial polity or at last enforce the Constitution of Greece and how. Many times we say that the Law may provide cover but every which corrupt officer is not going to apply it. This I will discuss in my next article.

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