The Constitution of the Italian Republic was enacted in late December 1947 and came into force on the first day of the new year in 1948. As a post-World War II constitution it contains several articles of interest. Among them, I especially like the following:
Article 3 (Equality)
1) All citizens have equal social status and are equal before the law, without regard to their sex, race, language, religion, political opinions or social conditions.
Compare that to the United States, where the states have failed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (first proposed in 1923), which passed both Houses of Congress in 1972 and simply stated “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
Article 4 (Work)
1) The Republic recognizes the right of all citizens to work and promotes conditions to fulfill this right.
Maybe we need another New Deal agency, similar to the Works Progress Administration, which (to cite Wikipedia’s entry) “employ[ed] millions of unskilled workers to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. It also employed artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects. Writers documented local and state histories, artists painted murals and other works for new federal post offices and other buildings. The WPA provided food for children and redistributed food, clothing, and housing. Almost every community in the United States had a new park, bridge or school constructed by the agency, which especially benefited rural and western areas.”
Article 11 (Repudiation of War)
Italy repudiates war as an instrument offending the liberty of the peoples and as a means for settling international disputes
Except that might have kept us out of the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. Can’t have that.
Article 32 (Health)
The Republic protects individual health as a basic right and in the public interest; it provides free medical care to the poor.
Maybe that’s what Romney will propose to replace “Obamacare”—the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Yeah, right.