The Preamble to Bunreacht na hÉireann: Time to Change?

With regard to any amendment to the preamble of the Constitution, would you prefer to:

  • Leave it as it is (I approve of the current text)

    Votes: 55 17.1%
  • Leave it as it is (It's not worth the hassle)

    Votes: 39 12.1%
  • Change to long secular preamble

    Votes: 17 5.3%
  • Change to a short secular preamble

    Votes: 160 49.8%
  • Frankly, my dear, I just don't give a damn

    Votes: 50 15.6%

  • Total voters
    321
  • Poll closed .

cabledude

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 23, 2011
Messages
6,262
Actually he didn't. Obama delivered what is known as the 'Nicholay verision', which is widely thought to be the actual text as drafted by Lincoln and brought with him to the battle site, or certainly the definitive first draft. It differs in a number of respects from the version written down contemporaneously by reporters. It is not clear whether Lincoln adlibbed the bits not in the speech, including the 'under God' phrase, whether the journalists misheard him (there obviously were no microphones. Lincoln also had a rather high pitched voice) or they added in extra bits. The verifiable versions in Lincoln's hand at the time the speech was delivered don't contain the 'under god' words.

Lincoln seems to have reconstructed the speech for later copying from journalist reports and that seems to be where the 'under God' came from. Whether it was a later addition by him, or something he quoted from journalists who had misheard him, is not certain.
I always thought that the inscription on the Lincon memorial was the 'actual' one?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...b3846a-506e-11e3-9e2c-e1d01116fd98_story.html
 


Cato

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2005
Messages
20,390
Why all the waffle? Keep it simple:

We, the people of Ireland, do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.
Grand. Just go with:

We, the People, do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.

No need for anything else. Really, in terms of importance, even when it comes to constitutional reform, this is not a priority.

It's one of those stupid things that anything beyond the bare essentials will cause more trouble than it's worth.
 

TommyO'Brien

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2009
Messages
12,132
As to the preamble, it is a lot of irrelevant fluff that no longer has any major significance in judicial review. Should in be deleted or rewritten? Yes. But there are other more important bits of the document to fix first, bits that are important in judicial review.
 

eurlex

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
9,082
Sure you may as well change the whole thing then.
As ruserious said, baby steps. Anyway, I think this thread is about the removal of the religious language from the constitution, not other changes that might be desirable.

Those changes would be relatively easy to make and I think a referendum on them would pass easily enough.
 

eurlex

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
9,082
As to the preamble, it is a lot of irrelevant fluff that no longer has any major significance in judicial review. Should in be deleted or rewritten? Yes. But there are other more important bits of the document to fix first, bits that are important in judicial review.
The Preamble was cited in the Norris case as proof of the 'Christian nature' of the constitution and the state, hence a reason that the old laws criminalising male homosexual activity were not unconstitutional.

There's no telling whether the existing Preamble could be cited in the same way again.

We cannot forecast the actions of future Supreme Courts.
 

TommyO'Brien

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2009
Messages
12,132
I always thought that the inscription on the Lincon memorial was the 'actual' one?

The Gettysburg Address - The Washington Post
The trouble is that no-one really knows what the 'actual' one was. Lincoln's versions disagreed. Journalists disagreed. One of the journalists there to record it was so moved by the speech that he stopped writing it, then had to borrow Lincoln's draft to fill in what he had mixed. Even Lincoln seemed to be unsure of the exact words used as he seems to have ad-libbed changes. It was an incredible speech. The official key note speaker on the day delivered a two-hour speech. Lincoln delivered one of less than 300 words, and it was the latter that stuck with people. For example, we remember the phrase Government of the people, by the people, for the people, with the emphasis on 'of', 'by' and 'for'. But journalists there said Lincoln emphasised the sentence differently, with the word 'people' getting the emphasis.
 

TommyO'Brien

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2009
Messages
12,132
The Preamble was cited in the Norris case as proof of the 'Christian nature' of the constitution and the state, hence a reason that the old laws criminalising male homosexual activity were not unconstitutional.

There's no telling whether the existing Preamble could be cited in the same way again.

We cannot forecast the actions of future Supreme Courts.
True. But later courts have not placed the emphasis on it that the O'Higgins court did. They may go back to the O'Higgins interpretation, but very often having moved away from a perspective they don't return fully to the old one. So the expectation is that the preamble, especially since Article 44 no longer refers the special position of the Roman Catholic Church, aren't likely to reinstate that old emphasis. (And yes, I know Article 44 was amended before the Norris judgement.)
 

eurlex

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
9,082
True. But later courts have not placed the emphasis on it that the O'Higgins court did. They may go back to the O'Higgins interpretation, but very often having moved away from a perspective they don't return fully to the old one. So the expectation is that the preamble, especially since Article 44 no longer refers the special position of the Roman Catholic Church, aren't likely to reinstate that old emphasis. (And yes, I know Article 44 was amended before the Norris judgement.)
The Preamble itself is Christian. There's no telling what a future Supreme Court will do.
 

Cruimh

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
83,450
The Preamble was cited in the Norris case as proof of the 'Christian nature' of the constitution and the state, hence a reason that the old laws criminalising male homosexual activity were not unconstitutional.

There's no telling whether the existing Preamble could be cited in the same way again.

We cannot forecast the actions of future Supreme Courts.
Need to bear in mind that it was written thus for reasons - circumstances are so different today that, as rus says, it is obsolete.
 

james5001

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
11,272
True. But later courts have not placed the emphasis on it that the O'Higgins court did. They may go back to the O'Higgins interpretation, but very often having moved away from a perspective they don't return fully to the old one. So the expectation is that the preamble, especially since Article 44 no longer refers the special position of the Roman Catholic Church, aren't likely to reinstate that old emphasis. (And yes, I know Article 44 was amended before the Norris judgement.)
Does the Preamble have any weight, constitutionally? Is it just a bit of fluff?
 

discentes

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2013
Messages
2,663
Does the Preamble have any weight, constitutionally? Is it just a bit of fluff?
Yes. But less so in recent years. Some judgments have interpreted other provisions through the Christian prism of the preamble. I'm not looking them up since I'm knackered, though.
 

discentes

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2013
Messages
2,663
Then it should say that.

As worded



Would Nordies holding an Irish Passport be entitled to vote?
The name of the State is Ireland. It does say that. Nobody other than the people of Ireland living in Ireland (The Irish State) would be able to vote on the matter.
 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top Bottom