Submissions to the Constitutional Convention will close on 19th November 2013
The Constitutional Convention is to hold its last 2 weekend meetings in February 2014. The subjects which they will discuss on those weekends are not settled, and the Convention’s members will vote in early December 2013 on what these will be.
The Convention’s members will use the list of subjects on which people made submissions to the Convention website. They have full discretion and are not bound by the number of submissions on a subject, but may be considering the quality of the submissions.
The website is going to stop taking submissions on 19 November 2013.
Any person who wants to make a submission to the Constitutional Convention needs to put the submission on the Convention website by 19 November 2013. After that date the Constitutional Convention will cease taking submissions on its website.
The Mid West Humanists have encouraged people of no religion, and also people with religion who would like a secular constitution, to put their own submission on the Convention’s website.
We have aimed since the Convention was announced in 2011 to seek to have it consider a plan to make the Constitution secular.
At present it is not in any way guaranteed that the secular questions (other than blasphemy) will be discussed.
You can make it more likely that the main secular questions will be discussed, by sending in your individual submission, which need not be long or complicated. See further down for some ideas.
Blasphemy was discussed at the Convention’s meeting on Saturday 02 and Sunday 03 November 2013. The vote was to remove the anti-blasphemy clause.
At present the Convention’s website says it has 620 submissions in its “Submissions – Other” list. There are also at least 14 submissions for a Secular Constitution in the “Blasphemy” list. The three largest groups of submissions are on these subjects:-
Separate Church and State (Secular Constitution) – 158;
Environment to be protected in the constitution – 137;
Economic, Social, and Cultural rights (ESC) (includes a Home) – 135.
Of the 158 submissions asking for a Secular Constitution, some of these are about all the parts that need to be changed, and some are on single subjects, such as the Preamble, or the Declarations for President, Council of State, and Judges.
In order for the changes to make a Secular Constitution get discussed at the Convention, this subject must receive as many individual submissions as possible, not form letters or emails. The Mid West Humanists have encouraged people to write their own submissions and not to copy another person’s submission. We hope this will mean more submissions of good quality, which we hear is more important than the number of submissions.
The Mid West Humanists recommend any person who thinks the Constitution should be secular to make her or his own submission. Here are what the Convention’s website will ask of you:
Name (will be shown on their website)
(some submitters have entered other than their true name, but their submissions are on the website)
County (will be shown on their website)
Title of your submission (will be shown on their website)
Address; email address – WILL NOT BE ON WEBSITE;
Telephone number (optional) WILL NOT BE ON WEBSITE;
Submission version 1 in a text box – maximum 1000 characters including spaces. (will be shown on their website)
Submission version 2, being a doc or pdf file that you create (optional). (will be shown on their website)
You can make quick reference to the main Articles of the Constitution that have too much religious content in the text box with 1000 characters. It is sufficient to count as a submission that you give a title that clearly shows the issue you intend. You will have shown enough substance in your submission if you put a few sentences about the issue in the text box.
For a submission in favour of a secular constitution we think it will be enough if you name some of these Articles and that you want them removed or made secular. There are already some submissions with arguments for these changes: not every submission needs to detail the arguments.