Constitutional Amendments

You're reading Constitutional Amendments, posted on Monday, March 8th, 2010 at 11:29 pm in Constitution, on BrainBloggers at the Talking Politics blog. More after the jump.

A Constitutional Amendment is any form of adjustment to the legislator system of a sovereign nation. The constitution of a country consists of rulings that are officially put into place through the congress of a state that are implemented to govern the general populous.In order for these rulings to be modified, there are special measures that need to be implemented, which can sometimes require different procedures from that which is put into place everyday laws. The decision to make an amendment in constitution is granted as a result of a request by either the members of congress or by the request of certain citizen’s association. However, some changes in constitution can only be approved with the direct approval of the electorate in a referendum.

The way in which a constitution is altered may vary from state to state. In some states the jurisdictions entail that a constitutional amendment must be approved by the governing body of a country on two separate occasions during two separate but consecutive terms, and is achieved by running a general election. The proceedings of the legislature is then suspended to allow a general election whenever it is being adopted for the first time. This is done in sovereign states such as Denmark, The Netherlands, Iceland and Norway and in individual states in the United States like Iowa, Vermont and Wisconsin.

In countries like the US three quarters of congress have to agree upon a change in the constitution before it can be formally implemented. In countries like Switzerland, Canada and Australia, different requirements apply. In Canada, after a proposition is made by the members of parliament then the consent of a provincial legislature is needed. While in Switzerland and Australia, a constitutional amendment has to be approved by the leading vote of electorates as well as separate majority votes in each canton within the country.

Many countries also combine various elements from each amendment proceedings. In cases like the French, their constitution amendment system is formulated from one or two procedures. It can either be achieved through a majority vote or by a referendum. In the U.S. State of Massachusetts a constitutional amendment has to be made by a special majority of legislature during two back to back terms which is then submitted to a referendum for a final approval.

In Austria, the Constitutional settings are much more moderate in regards to the recording of constitutional amendments. Almost any piece of parliamentary legislation can be selected as constitutional law if the required supermajority and other dealings for an amendment are met. An amendment may take the form of a change of the centerpiece of the constitution, a change to another constitutional act, the B-VG, a new constitutional act, or a part of the legislative rules in a non-constitutional act.