I have just finished A Confucian constitutional order by Jiang Qing. (different characters from that other Jiang Qing) He proposes a constitution for China that is based on a combination of pragmatic arguments and Confucian metaphysics that he calls the Way of the Humane Authority. The Yi Jing is cited in a number of places as authority for various ideas, although he relies more the Gongyang Commentary to the Analects of Confucius, a text dating from the Han dynasty.
The proposals, in short order, are:
(1) a tricameral legislature designed to embody sacred, cultural and popular legitimacy;
(2) a symbolic monarch as head of state;
(3) an academy with the power to dismiss any member of the legislature or the executive for corruption or misconduct and to administer examinations for the House of Scholars.
The three chambers would be the House of Scholars (Tongru Yuan) to represent sacred legitimacy; the House of the People (Shumin Yuan), to represent popular legitimacy; and the House of the Nation (Guoti Yuan) to represent cultural legitimacy. The House of Scholars would be elected through a system of recommendation and testing in the Confucian classics rather similar to the old examination system for the imperial bureaucracy. The House of the People would be elected in a democratic manner. The House of the Nation would comprise distinguished experts and traditional leaders, some of them hereditary. The House of the Nation is the least well-defined of the three chambers. It is unclear whether Jiang Qing proposes appointment by the head of state on ministerial advice or some other criterion, although some members would be hereditary. The academy is based on the censorate tradition and is also to be selected by recommendation and examination from among scholars in various traditions.
Two houses could pass a bill unless the third house rejected the bill by supermajority. The executive is the least detailed proposal. There is to be a parliamentary executive, although the precise details of nomination and investiture are unclear. There is a strong preference for functional constituencies to elect the House of the People. The Dalai Lama is mentioned as one of the traditional leaders to be included in the House of the Nation. There would be a justiceable bill of rights, although Jiang Qing suggests the academy would be more effective in enforcing rights than a conventional supreme court.
The candidate for symbolic monarch (oddly with the title of king, rather than emperor) is the head of the Confucian lineage on grounds of cultural authority and descent from Tang of Shang, the founding sage king of the second of the Three Dynasties.
This is not a widely-accepted model in China itself, although there are occasional calls for the Chinese Communist Party to rename itself the Confucian party and Confucius is widely promoted in China as an exemplar of Chinese culture and history. The government, for example,is funding Confucius Institutes in foreign countries on the model of the Alliance Française and the Goethe Institutes.
Okay, I suppose I should have said ‘very exotic constitutional proposal’. I certainly hope this is by no means the end of Fruits and Votes.