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One nation, two laws ...

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." - Anatole France
  (+2, -1)
(+2, -1)
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For simplicity, assume that all habitable areas of your planet can be neatly delineated into "urban" and "rural".

At the moment, within one nation-state, laws apply equally to all citizens. On first examination, this appears to be fair.


Rural and Urban environments are in fact very different. Each confers advantages and disadvantages to the dweller.

Some actions and behaviours which are unacceptable in one environment are quite acceptable in another.

A rise in the cost of vehicle fuel disproportionately affects dwellers in rural areas, and their access to public services is much poorer. However, many would cite an improved quality of life as their reasons for accepting such limitations.

In the same way that (for example) speed limits change at the boundary between rural and urban areas, why not recognise that some laws should apply to urban dwellers, but not to the countryside, and vice versa ?

8th of 7, Aug 18 2011

Anti-litigious multiple enclaved microstate Anti-litigious_20mu...claved_20microstate
by nineteenthly [calum, Aug 19 2011]

The West Lothian Question http://en.wikipedia...st_Lothian_question
Conceptually, the same problem applies. [DrBob, Aug 19 2011]

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       can we have some examples that could apply specifically and non-contextually to the urban/rural individual? Seems like the vast majority of laws are highly contextual and thus enforcement is radically different in urban/rural areas.
WcW, Aug 18 2011

       + I like it. [ one example would be- the urban dwellers cannot take a piss in their driveway whilst the country folk can]
xandram, Aug 18 2011

       contextual. The location of the driveway, not the origin of the individual guides enforcement. A rural person cannot pee in an urban driveway, and an urban person can pee in a rural driveway.   

       I need examples of exceptions to this.
WcW, Aug 18 2011

       Good one, [xan].   

       City: disposal of bodily wastes only through designated facilities. Country:Going behind the nearest tree or bush is fine. Make sure you don't step in any of the cow/sheep/fox/bear/horse excrement on your way to or from the bush.   

       City: You may not carry an unsecured (uncovered) firearm in a pubic place. Country:You can carry a loaded gun as long as you use it for lawful purposes.   

       City: You may not wave a half-metre long sharp steel blade around. Country: Billhooks.   

       City: You may let your dog run free, if you're really that stupid and uncaring. If it craps somewhere, you will be fined. Country: If your dog chases livestock it can and will be shot. You have no redress.   

       City:You pay a city tax such that good public transport provision makes owning a vehicle mostly unnecessary. Country: No public transport provision, but lower taxes and cheaper vehicle fuel.   

       City: No outdoor fires. Country: With due deference to and consideration of prevailing local climatic and environmental conditions, you can burn what you like.
8th of 7, Aug 18 2011

       Most of the country laws can be filtered into 'nobody's watching or close enough to matter, so who cares and why bother with the law?'
RayfordSteele, Aug 18 2011

       Urban laws are usually called 'by-laws', however I see the point that the bylaws in urban area <x> are usually the same as those in urban area <y>.   

       Stating the obvious, the factor seems to be "while in close proximity to others'. Or "don't get caught" in the case of peeing on the driveway: in an urban situation the given is that you will be seen which is the actual crime, whereas in ruralia that you won't. A commune living in the country would probably have house rules against just whipping it out and letting fly.

       It seems that the solution is an organization, perhaps hierarchical, made up of cities. The larger and/or more diverse cities would attempt to gain more followers in the unspokenfors.   

       "Where do you live" could be answered not only by a vague geographic location, ie: country, but by the very local region's adherence to culture: 'Shanghai England' for instance.   

       This is not completely tongue-in-cheek: we aren't talking about a variety of cultures so much as a variety of solutions to population densities.
FlyingToaster, Aug 18 2011

       // In the UK, with all your open farmland, dogs chasing livestock may be an issue. In the US, we put fences around our farms to keep the livestock in ...//   

       That's a turning of the tables.   

       Oh, give me a home where the butterflies roam, Where hedgehogs and badgers play, Where seldom is heard a discouraging word And the skies are cloudy all day.   

Loris, Aug 18 2011

       so "contextual" then. unless the posted can help us understand better what they are trying to point out I'm going to say baked and widely known to exist.
WcW, Aug 18 2011

       The West Lothian Question scuppers this idea, I think. Why should rural MPs be allowed to vote on laws affecting urban areas & vice versa?
DrBob, Aug 19 2011

       Oh, no. The Borg have discovered Zoning.   

       Next, they'll discover Re-Zoning and Imminent Domain.   

       Then, they'll look at each other and say, "This seems oddly familiar..."
lurch, Aug 20 2011

       Basically, the USA is one nation with 50 different sets of laws, which bear almost identical similarity concerning major crimes, but vary wildly when it comes to a whole galaxy of minor details. Actually, it's 54 different variations, if you count DC and the Territories.   

       Ah, to live in a place where laws rarely apply because people rarely break them*...   

       Oh, wait-- I do.   

       *except for the laws that prohibit or restrict things that don't really hurt in anyone, like home-distilling, growing a few pot plants in your back yard, or streaking down Main Street. The police in my state rarely, if ever, give a shit about the little stuff.
Alterother, Aug 20 2011

       //You may not carry an unsecured (uncovered) firearm in a pubic place//   

       <obligatory>Is that an unsecured firearm in your underpants or... ?</obligatory>
pertinax, Aug 21 2011


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