Friday, August 26, 2005

What Would You Do?

What would you, the reader, do to form a better government?

If you had to create a democracy that applied equally to any number of ethnic, regional, or social constituents, what would it look like?

It is easy to point out the deficiencies of one form of government over another. One might suggest polity, democracy, theocracy, or maybe even an aristocracy or oligarchy.

Would a mix of all of these be the best? Why not the selection of one over all others?

Would any prescription based on any percentage ever apply conditionally to any and all people across this earth?

Apparently, this question and the resultant answers are very difficult [sub] issues.

So which form of government to suggest?

First and foremost, does the country wish to participate in democratically elected government? If not, then the following questions need not be answered.

Secondly, a goverment of and by the population at large should not be conceived under duress. It is always better that the populace of the country in question not decide its fate based on future repercussions.

If political views will not break down through a duality of political viewpoints, then possibly a proportional representation of political concerns will work out best.

If disparate groups are involved in negotiating the essential framework for the basis of government, then a simple majority consensus must be abandoned; two-thirds majority should be employed with definitive steps taken for the minority to uphold its viewpoint.

Where cultural or religious concerns are involved, should the government inculcate those attitudes and belief systems into the stucture of the law? If so, why? If not, why not?

Will the governmental order ordain whose rights supercede the rights of others? Will one geographic region have control over another? Will one ethnic group hold court favor at the expense of the next?

Will women and men have an equal voice and equal standing before the law of the land?

And finally, will cultural differences between the state and the rest of the world have sway over the final edition of said Constitution?

What would you hope for if you were the current Administration and your forces were occupying a foreign land? Would that sway your vision of democracy?

Iraqi Constitution as taken from the Guardian Unlimited:

Chapter One

Article One

The Republic of Iraq is an independent state.

Article Two

The political system is republican, parliamentary, democratic and federal.

1. Islam is a main source for legislation.

- a. No law may contradict Islamic standards.

- b. No law may contradict democratic standards.

- c. No law may contradict the essential rights and freedoms mentioned in this constitution.

2. This constitution guarantees the Islamic identity of the Iraqi people and guarantees all religious rights; all persons are free within their ideology and the practice of their ideological practices.

3. Iraq is part of the Islamic world, and the Arabs are part of the Arab nation.


a. Arabic and Kurdish are the two official languages, and Iraqis have the right to teach their sons their mother language like the Turkomen and Assyrian in the government educational institutes.

b. The language used orally in official institutions such as the Parliament and the Cabinet as well as official conventions should be one of the two languages.

c. Recognizing the official documents with the two languages.

d. Opening the schools with two languages.

Article Three

Federal institutions in Kurdistan should use the two languages.

Article Four

The Turkomen and Assyrian languages are the official languages in the Turkomen and Assyrian areas, and each territory or province has the right to use its own official language if residents have approved in a general referendum vote.

Article Five

Power is transferred peacefully through democratic ways.

Article Seven

1. Any organization that follow a racist, terrorist, extremist, sectarian-cleaning ideology or circulates or justifies such beliefs is banned, especially Saddam's Baath Party in Iraq and its symbols under any name. And this should not be part of the political pluralism in Iraq.

2. The government is committed to fighting terrorism in all its forms, and works to protect Iraqi soil from being a center or passage for terrorist activities.


Article 35

- a. Human freedom and dignity are guaranteed.

- b. No person can be detained or interrogated without a judicial order.

- c. All kinds of physical and psychological torture and inhumane treatment are prohibited, and any confession is considered void if it was taken by force, threats and torture. The person who was harmed has the right to ask for compensation for the financial and moral damage he/she suffered.

Article 36

The State guarantees:

1. Freedom of expression by all means.

2. Freedom of the press, printing, advertising and publishing.

Article 37

Freedom to establish political groups and organizations.

Article 39

Iraqis are free to abide in their personal lives according to their religion, sects, beliefs or choice. This should be organized by law.


Article 66

A presidential candidate should:

1. Be Iraqi by birth and the offspring of two Iraqi parents.

2. Be no less than 40 years old.

3. Have a good reputation and political experience, and be known as honest and faithful to the nation.

Article 75

The prime minister should have all the qualifications as the presidential candidate and should have a university degree or its equivalent and should not be less than 35 years old.

Article 104

A general commission should be set up to observe and specify the central (government) revenues, and the commission should be made up of experts from the central government, regions, provinces and representatives.


Article 107

Federal authorities should preserve Iraq's unity, security, independence and sovereignty and its democratic federal system.

Article 109

Oil and gas are the property of all the Iraqi people in regions and provinces.

Article 110

The central government administers oil and gas extracted from current wells, along with governments of the producing regions and provinces, on the condition that revenues are distributed in a way that suits population distribution around the country.


Article 114

1. A region consists of one or more provinces, and two or more regions have the right to create a single region.

2. A province or more has the right to set a region according to a referendum called for in one of two ways:

- a. A demand by one-third of all members of each of the provincial councils that aims to set up a region.

- b. A demand by one-tenth of voters of the provinces that aim to set up a region.

Article 117

A region's legislative authority is made up of one council, named the National Assembly of the region.

Article 118

The National Council of the region drafts the region's constitution and issues laws, which must not contradict this constitution and Iraq's central laws.

Article 120

The executive authority of the region is made up of the president of the region and the region's government.

Article 128

The region's revenues are made up from the specified allotment from the national budget and from the local revenues of the region.

Article 129

The regional government does what is needed to administer the region, especially setting up internal security forces, such as police, security and region guards.

Article 135

This constitution guarantees the administrative, political, cultural and educational rights of different ethnic groups such as Turkomen, Chaldean, Assyrians and other groups.


Article 144

The Iraq Supreme Criminal Court continues its work as a legislative, independent commission to look into the crimes of the former dictatorial regime and its symbols, and the Council of Deputies has the right to annul it after it ends its duties.

Article 145

a. The Supreme National Commission for de-Baathification continues its work as an independent commission, in coordination with the judicial authority and executive institutions and according to laws that organize its work.

b. Parliament has the right to dissolve this commission after it ends its work, with a two-thirds majority.

Article 151

No less than 25 percent of Council of Deputies seats go to women.

Article 153

This law is considered in force after people vote on it in a general referendum and when it is published in the official Gazette and the Council of Deputies is elected according to it.

With statements in a constitution such as the Prime Minister should have, "all the qualifications as the presidential candidate and should have a university degree or its equivalent," maybe Westerners should not have involved themselves at all in the affairs of a foriegn nation, much like President Washington told us not to do.

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