Government De Jure

Pre­served in law by our ances­tors.
Per­fect­ing itself for our descen­dants.

Where­as the King­dom of Hawai’i, hav­ing been in exile for one-hun­dred sev­en years due to an unlaw­ful over­throw of its gov­ern­ment de jure, has exer­cised per­fect right to reestab­lish its prop­er sta­tion as an inde­pen­dent nation with­in the com­mu­ni­ty of nations.
—The Pre­am­ble of the Hawai­ian Con­sti­tu­tion of 2000.

Revising the Constitution

On Jan­u­ary 15, 2000, the elect­ed leg­is­la­ture of the King­dom of Hawai’i con­vened for the first time in 107 years in Ana­ho­la, a com­mu­ni­ty on the island of Kaua’i. The leg­is­la­tors of the tem­po­rary gov­ern­ment vacat­ed their offices and wit­nessed the swear­ing-in of their elect­ed suc­ces­sors.

The objec­tive of this con­ven­tion was to retrieve the nation’s con­sti­tu­tion from sus­pen­sion and update it for the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry.  Last amend­ed in 1887, the Hawai­ian King­dom Con­sti­tu­tion con­sist­ed of eighty-two arti­cles which described the func­tions and pow­ers of the monarch, the par­lia­ment and the courts of record; as well as the nat­ur­al, polit­i­cal and civ­il laws enjoyed by the cit­i­zen­ry. Con­sol­i­dat­ing the 82 arti­cles into ten arti­cles of relat­ed sub­ject mat­ter, a draft con­sti­tu­tion was adopt­ed. The leg­is­la­tors were respon­si­ble for dis­trib­ut­ing copies of the draft to the cit­i­zens for their review and input. Before recess­ing, the leg­is­la­ture agreed to recon­vene at a con­sti­tu­tion­al con­ven­tion on March 10, 11 & 12, 2000 in Waimea, a town on the big island of Hawai’i.

In prepar­ing for this con­sti­tu­tion­al con­ven­tion, a pro­to­col was fol­lowed that allowed the indi­vid­ual cit­i­zen to sub­mit draft leg­is­la­tion for con­sid­er­a­tion at three suc­ces­sive lev­els: first, review with­in the dis­trict; then, review amongst all dis­tricts of the island; and final­ly, review by the entire leg­is­la­ture. A dead­line for sub­mit­ting amend­ments was set, copies of the amend­ments from those islands that met the dead­line were made, and each leg­is­la­tor received their copies upon arriv­ing at the con­ven­tion.

The leg­is­la­ture spent the entire con­ven­tion exam­in­ing and re-exam­in­ing the draft con­sti­tu­tion and every sub­mit­ted amend­ment.  After much debate, a con­sti­tu­tion with lan­guage sat­is­fac­to­ry to the leg­is­la­ture was agreed upon. Among the fea­tures intro­duced into the con­sti­tu­tion were:

  • Mak­ing the Office of the Monarch cer­e­mo­ni­al, with the monarch serv­ing as a nation­al sym­bol
  • Estab­lish­ing an Office of the Prime Min­is­ter
  • Allow­ing the cit­i­zens — rather than the leg­is­la­ture — to elect the Prime Min­is­ter
  • Insert­ing direct democ­ra­cy into the leg­isla­tive pro­ce­dure of pass­ing laws of the land
  • Extend­ing the right to vote to women
  • Extend­ing the right to vote to indi­vid­ual cit­i­zens who are not landown­ers
  • Remov­ing the monarch’s Privy Coun­cil, but retain­ing the Exec­u­tive Cab­i­net Min­is­ters
  • Reserv­ing the right to retrieve the Kingdom’s pub­lic laws placed into sus­pen­sion 107 years ago
  • For­mal­ly nam­ing the leg­is­la­ture the Mana Kau Kanawai (“the body empow­ered to make laws”)
  • Refer­ring to the nation as “Hawai’i”
  • Reserv­ing the abil­i­ty to intro­duce and rat­i­fy addi­tion­al amend­ments to the con­sti­tu­tion

Copies of this final draft were sup­plied to each leg­is­la­tor for dis­tri­b­u­tion to the cit­i­zens. The rat­i­fi­ca­tion of this con­sti­tu­tion would not be done sole­ly by the Leg­is­la­ture. It was agreed that the Amend­ed Hawai­ian Con­sti­tu­tion of 2000 would be rat­i­fied by the cit­i­zens in a plebescite vote. On Sat­ur­day, April 29, 2000, the Rat­i­fi­ca­tion Vote of 2000 was held in every dis­trict of the Hawai­ian Islands.

A win­ning major­i­ty needs two-thirds of the total num­ber of vot­ing dis­tricts. That would cur­rent­ly require no less than six­teen dis­tricts.

The Amend­ed Hawai­ian Con­sti­tu­tion of 2000 was passed with a major­i­ty of twen­ty dis­tricts in favor of rat­i­fi­ca­tion and four dis­tricts against.  With an approved con­sti­tu­tion, the peo­ple of the nation known as Hawai’i are now in the process of ful­fill­ing the laws with­in it. The first pri­or­i­ty was to com­plete the oth­er two branch­es of gov­ern­ment.

Appli­ca­tions to the Office of the Prime Min­is­ter were con­sid­ered. All appli­cants to the office were required to appear before a review com­mit­tee estab­lished by the leg­is­la­ture to deter­mine if they met the nec­es­sary qual­i­fi­ca­tions. One per­son emerged with the con­fi­dence of the com­mit­tee. The find­ings of the com­mit­tee were for­ward­ed to the full leg­is­la­ture.

On June 17, 2000, the leg­is­la­ture declared the uncon­test­ed win­ner and swore him in as the Prime Min­is­ter of the King­dom of Hawai’i. On July 23, 2000, the Prime Min­is­ter appoint­ed indi­vid­u­als to his Exec­u­tive Cab­i­net.

The process of ful­fill­ing the laws of the Hawai­ian Con­sti­tu­tion con­tin­ues.

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