24-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #5

24-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #5

logo_bg

Gennady Stolyarov II


For its upcoming fifth Platform vote, the U.S. Transhumanist Party has continued to receive many suggestions from members. This exposure period is intended to encompass as many of these suggestions as possible. A vote will be scheduled on some or all of these items once they have been exposed for at least 24 days. For each item, a 7-day voting period is expected to be opened at the earliest at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, June 18, 2017.

During the exposure period, please post your comments on this thread. If you post comments intended to be considered in voting and/or amending any of these planks in any other electronic medium, please note that you thereby give your consent to have your comments reproduced with attribution or linked within this discussion thread, in order to direct members’ attention and consideration to them.

After the exposure period, a 7-day electronic voting period will occur. Instructions for electronic voting will be sent to members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party via e-mail at that time. All individuals who are members of the U.S. Transhumanist Party as of the end of the exposure period and who have expressed agreement with its three Core Ideals will be eligible to vote thereafter. You can still vote if you become a member during the exposure period, so please apply here if you are interested. During the 7-day electronic voting period, you will still be able to become a member – but you will only be able to vote in subsequent elections, since we seek for voting on any given issue to be done by those members who have had an opportunity to thoroughly consider that issue and be involved in deliberations regarding it.

Electronic voting will be conducted by a ranked-preference method if more than a single option is presented for the wording of a particular plank or segment of a plank. Members will be able to rank-order their preferred selections on each individual Platform Section. The original text of each Section will be available for selection, as well as any reasonable amendments proposed by any member. Leadership of the Transhumanist Party reserves the right to edit any proposed amendment for correctness of spelling and grammar only – but not with regard to the substance, unless the person proposing the amendment requests or consents to a substantive edit. “No Section of this sort” will also be a choice, and any Section where a majority of votes favors this option will be not be adopted. Members will also be able to abstain from voting on any given Section.

The ranked-preference method has the advantage of eliminating a “winner-take-all” or “first-past-the-post” mentality and preventing people from being channeled into voting for sub-optimal choices (in their view) just because they fear an even less palatable alternative prevailing. Within the ranked-preference methodology, if no option obtains a clear majority as voters’ first choice, the option having the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated from consideration, and all those who voted for that option will have their votes assigned to their second-choice options. This process of elimination continues until one particular option has a clear majority of votes.

The Transhumanist Party encourages all members to participate in this process and for other transhumanists to sign up for membership during the exposure period. 

The Section titles below are provisional and will be replaced with official numbers for each plank that is adopted. The Section titles are informational only and will not be included in the adopted versions of the platform planks.


Section E5-A. Germaneness / Single-Subject Rule for Bills

Option E5-A-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to have bills proposed without sub-sections or provisions unrelated to the main subject of the bill. A single-subject or germaneness rule for bills would:

  1. Simplify bills, rendering them more accessible and less convoluted;
  2. Enable a focused vote for or against a bill without the possibility of having to accept or reject an embedded unrelated provision; and
  3. Prevent an unrelated provision from being buried within a bill as a possible tactic to have it passed.

Section E5-B. Opposition to Protectionism and Subsidies

Option E5-B-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to limit protectionism and subsidization of an industry or group of companies. The exception to this would be that of extenuating circumstances, such as natural disasters or catastrophes, in which case a limited window of support could be approved. The United States Transhumanist Party understands that in a free-market society, private businesses, in order to continue their existence, ought to adapt to market changes instead of being shielded from such changes.

Option E5-B-2. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon, with Complete Rejection of Economic Protectionism and Subsidization without Subsidies for Extenuating Circumstances] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to abolish economic protectionism and refrain from subsidizing any industry or group of companies. The United States Transhumanist Party understands that in a free-market society, private businesses, in order to continue their existence, ought to adapt to market changes instead of being shielded from such changes.

Section E5-C. Bodily Autonomy

Option E5-C-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to increase autonomy of individuals to decide over their own bodies and holds that individuals should have the legal right to undertake procedures including gender reassignment, hysterectomies, vasectomies, technological augmentation, cosmetic alterations, genetic enhancements, and physical supplementation at or after the age of 18 years, as long as this does not create health hazards or threats to other individuals.

Section E5-D. Autonomy to Decide on the Continuation of One’s Own Life

Option E5-D-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports the autonomy of an individual to decide on the continuation of that individual’s own life.

Option E5-D-2. [Expanded Version with Clarification Regarding Suicide] The United States Transhumanist Party supports the autonomy of an individual to decide on the continuation of that individual’s own life, including the right to choose or not to choose life-extending medical treatments. The United States Transhumanist Party does not consider it practicable or desirable for suicide to be illegal but discourages suicide from a moral standpoint, and furthermore considers that the legal right of suicide should only pertain to the individual and should not extend to any euthanasia or direct administration of a life-ending substance or procedure by any other person. The United States Transhumanist Party has grave concerns with anybody but the individual acting to hasten the end of that individual’s life.

[Questions on Section E5-D will allow members to select any, all, or none of the ancillary provisions below, with any measure receiving a majority of the votes being included in the ultimately adopted plank. The ancillary provisions are compatible with each of the main options above.]

Ancillary Provision E5-D-i. Cultural Promotion of Life. Although each individual should be free to decide upon the duration of his, her, or its own life, the United States Transhumanist Party supports cultural changes and discussions that would encourage all individuals to undertake life-prolonging choices and activities. Advances in medical technology would facilitate more open-ended lifespans and would enable individuals to choose either finite or indefinite lengths of their lives. However, if individuals are recognized as having this autonomy, the United States Transhumanist Party is interested in persuading as many people as possible to decide to preserve their irreplaceable lives instead of hastening their end.

Ancillary Provision E5-D-ii. Protection of Uncoerced Patient Choice. With regard to any legalization of assisted suicide or measures to provide patients with life-ending prescriptions, the United States Transhumanist Party supports stringent legal safeguards to ensure that each individual patient’s choice with regard to such matters is entirely free and uncoerced, and that there is no steering of any particular individual toward a life-ending choice by family members, medical practitioners, health insurers, activists, or any other individual or organization standing to benefit financially from the end of a patient’s life. However, efforts to persuade an individual to prolong his, her, or its life should not be restricted.

Ancillary Provision E5-D-iii. Opposition to Financially Motivated Lobbies and Steering Toward Life-Ending Decisions. The United States Transhumanist Party opposes the emergence of any financially motivated lobby or industry whose primary business model would be assisted suicide or euthanasia, as the existence of such a lobby could create incentives and policies to steer people toward life-ending choices, including through legislation that might favor such “choices” in not-quite-voluntary situations. Instead, any prescription for a life-ending substance should only be provided as an incidental service by a patient’s primary-care physician, with the express written consent of at least one other unaffiliated physician, and the substance in question should only be allowed to be self-administered by the patient directly after a pre-defined time period since the obtaining of the prescription. Once the substance is prescribed, no medical practitioner should be permitted to benefit financially based on any specific choice of the patient to self-administer the substance to end the patient’s life. This position should not be construed to restrict any non-financially motivated political advocacy on the subject of assisted suicide, which involves individuals expressing their views on this subject in a public forum, when those individuals do not stand to gain financially from others choosing to obtain a life-ending substance.

Section E5-E. International Organ-Donation System

Option E5-E-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to establish a cross-border or international organ-donation system so that organ donors who wish to do so may donate their organs in a foreign country. This could pertain to Americans working or traveling in foreign countries, but also foreigners or travelers who pass away within U.S. borders. This system would be particularly useful for saving lives with organs that have a very short preservation duration, and would take too long to be sent to the country of the donor’s nationality.

Section E5-F. Sousveillance of Government Officials in a Lawmaking Capacity

Option E5-F-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to increase the ability for public sousveillance on the functioning of government officials, in particular those who may propose laws, during negotiations and deliberations on proposing bills and national and international trade agreements. Furthermore, the United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to make the current hosting of live-streams from United States Congress more user-friendly and accessible to the public, accompanied by links to proposed bills where applicable.

Section E5-G. Affidavit of Public Interest for Lawmakers

Option E5-G-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to have a mandatory standard clause or affidavit, affirming that a Representative, Senator, or other Legislative Branch lawmaker proposing a piece of legislation, such as a bill in Congress, has no conflict of interest between serving the public and serving other parties, such as special-interest groups. The clause would have to be signed and dated by the representative before the legislation is allowed to be proposed.

Section E5-H. Accountability of Security Agencies to Congress

Option E5-H-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports increasing broad accountability of Federal Government departments, agencies, and entities, especially those tasked with national security and / or criminal investigations, to the United States Congress. Currently some agencies may receive government funding without any accountability as to what the funding is used for, often based on arguments that this information is ‘classified’ or ‘may not be revealed in the interest of national security’. This is irresponsible use of taxpayer money.

Qualifying Language on Budgetary Review Committee [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon]

If Option E5-H-1 is adopted, shall the following caveat be inserted?

“The United States Transhumanist Party does acknowledge that such entities or agencies may have security concerns regarding the publication of details of their budget plans. As such, the United States Transhumanist Party supports setting up a special non-partisan security budgetary review committee where more details of budget plans would have to be provided before considering to provide funds to an agency or entity.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Section E5-I. Reduction of Redundancies among Security and Law-Enforcement Agencies

Option E5-I-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to consolidate and reduce redundancies among agencies and entities tasked with national security and law enforcement, as well as to reduce the number of such agencies and entities currently in operation.

Section E5-J. Protection Against Obstruction of Congresspersons’ Ability to Vote

Option E5-J-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to ensure that no United States Representative or Senator may be obstructed in their ability to vote on any piece of legislation, or be kept from the Senate or House of Representatives for intra- or extra-curricular political-party activities which interfere with their primary task as a representative of the people within government. For example, protections should exist to prevent situations where Representatives or Senators are forced by their political parties to do fundraising calls during a vote on a bill.

Section E5-K. Opposition to Civil Asset Forfeiture, Asset Seizure, and Excessive Detainment

Option E5-K-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to restrict and limit civil asset forfeiture laws, and other laws that assist law-enforcement agencies in circumventing the Fourth Amendment, such as asset seizure, or detainment or arrest longer than 48 hours.

Option E5-K-2. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon, with Modification Regarding Detainment or Arrest] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to restrict and limit civil asset forfeiture laws, and other laws that assist law-enforcement agencies in circumventing the Fourth Amendment, such as asset seizure, or detainment or arrest in situations where no criminal charges have been filed, except as part of an active interrogation of a person suspected of a crime or unless the person detained or arrested poses a clear and probable danger of inflicting physical harm upon others or their property.

Section E5-L. Investigation of Questionable Law-Enforcement Activities

Option E5-L-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to investigate questionable, but currently legal, actions by law-enforcement agencies that have over time garnered critical attention by the public. The safety of the public could benefit from such actions being revisited or revised to limit abuse and to close legal loopholes.

Section E5-M. Position on Internal Police Investigations of Misconduct

Option E5-M-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to prevent law-enforcement agencies from internally investigating missteps within their own departments or precincts, and concluding their internal investigations without further accountability. Instead, investigations regarding police misconduct, criminal activity, felonies, and misdemeanors should be investigated by a different source – for example, a different police department, or a District Attorney for a different area assigned to lead the investigation. The intent of this requirement is to limit the possibility of prejudice and bias toward a member of a given law-enforcement agency by that person’s colleagues, and to restore faith in the public mind that an investigation into police misconduct is done as objectively as possible.

Option E5-M-2. The United States Transhumanist Party considers it important for impartial, objective investigations of alleged police and other law-enforcement misconduct to be pursued. While law-enforcement agencies should not be prohibited from internally investigating potential abuses within their own ranks, such investigations should never be considered exclusive or conclusive, and further external checks and accountability should be instituted. As part of providing such checks and accountability, investigations regarding police misconduct, criminal activity, felonies, and misdemeanors should, in addition to any internal investigation, also be investigated by a different source – for example, a different police department, or a district attorney for a different area assigned to lead the investigation. The intent of this requirement is to limit the possibility of favorably biased or preferential treatment of a member of a given law-enforcement agency by that person’s colleagues, and to restore confidence by the public that an investigation into police misconduct is done as objectively as possible.

Section E5-N. Limitations on Favor-Trading Among Police, District Attorneys, and Judges

Option E5-N-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to limit the possibility for police, district attorneys, and judges to favor one another through mutual “back-scratching” accommodations which may cause a particular criminal matter to be resolved in a manner inconsistent with the true facts of the situation or the requirements of applicable law.

Section E5-O. Opposition to Special Benefits for Members of Congress

Option E5-O-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to prevent members of Congress from receiving special benefits, subsidies, and tax breaks that other citizens do not receive, and that are not necessary to function as a member of Congress. This limitation would pertain, for example, to health-care subsidies that are inaccessible to other citizens.

Option E5-O-2. The United States Transhumanist Party supports efforts to prevent members of Congress from receiving special benefits, subsidies, and tax breaks that other citizens do not receive, and that are not necessary to function as a member of Congress. This limitation would pertain, for example, to health-care subsidies that are inaccessible to other citizens. However, this limitation would not prevent members of Congress from obtaining working conditions and job-related benefits of the sort which are broadly available, without regard to rank or degree of influence, to other Americans working within the private or public sectors.

Section E5-P. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Option E5-P-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The U.S. Transhumanist Party supports efforts to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to uphold the Rights of the Child as prescribed therein. This would include abolishing the death penalty for minors federally.

Section E5-P. Qualifying Language on Homeschooling  

If Option E5-P-1 is adopted, shall the following caveat be inserted?

“The United States Transhumanist Party, however, opposes restrictions on the rights of parents to choose to homeschool their children in any manner that respects the children’s basic freedom of conscience. Any ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child should not be construed to restrict any peaceful, rights-respecting practice of homeschooling.”

Select one of the following options.

 Yes.

 No.

 Abstain.

Section E5-Q. Opposition to Rights-Violating Cultural, Religious, and Social Practices

Option E5-Q-1. [Based on Proposal by Martin van der Kroon] The United States Transhumanist Party opposes those specific cultural, religious, and social practices that violate United States law, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Examples of such unacceptable practices are forced marriage (including child marriage), male and female genital mutilation, and honor killings.

Option E5-Q-2. The United States Transhumanist Party opposes those specific cultural, religious, and social practices that violate individual rights and bodily autonomy. Examples of such unacceptable practices are forced marriage (including child marriage), male and female genital mutilation, and honor killings.

2 thoughts on “24-Day Exposure Period for Platform Vote #5

  1. Section E5-I
    I’m all for reducing the [over]reach of law enforcement and surveillance, but redundancy CAN be useful. I think we need to narrow the scope a bit. Parallel redundancy can create a huge mess of problems, but a type of hierarchal redundancy can help with quality control.

    Just a thought.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *