Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, August 29, 2005

A Note on the Iraqi Constitution

Hi Everyone,

With all this talk and demonstrating about, for and against the new Iraqi constitution I thought I'd give you my impression of it.

There are some very odd features: Most unusual is the odd way the executive is structured. The unicameral assembly elects, by 2/3 vote, the Presidency Council (the executive). That makes it look like a Prime Minister. But most Prime Ministers have control over the legislative agenda. The Iraqi President will not have such control. Furthermore, the Presidency Council can only be removed with a 3/4 vote. Prime Ministers can be removed by a majority vote. This odd combination of Prime Ministerial and Presidential features resembles the government of Israel which is, in my opinion, one of the worst run governments around.

This odd Presidency Council may veto legislation and appoints the "Council of Ministers" which consists of the Prime Minister and his cabinet. This dual executive resembles another often dysfunctional democracy: France (and Weimar Germany by the way). Ambiguous executive authority is workable in an established democracy like France but in democracy that is just starting out, it can be fatal - just ask the Germans.

A second odd feature is the unicameral assembly. In most federal systems, there is a bi-cameral legislature. Usually, the second chamber has the role of representing the constituent provinces or states. But no such second chamber exists in this constitution.

Finally, this is not even intended to be the final constitution. That constitution is to be written by the National Assembly. So what we have is a badly written constitution based on bizarre understandings of institutional design, that has built into it, a call for its own replacement.

That the Bush administration can claim that this is anything other than a long line of over hyped anti-climaxes in Iraq is absurd. Of course the Bushies only do two things in Iraqi: over play non-events; and sugar coat disasters.

I encourage you all to read this constitution for yourselves. The press is talking themselves silly about it but without any reference to any details. Don't let Chicken Noodle News tell you what's worth knowing.


Anonymous said...

Article 13(H)
"Each Iraqi has the right to privacy."

So, since GWB is behind this constitution, is he at last endorsing the right to privacy? Oh, happy day! Or is this, like national shares of oil revenue and universal medical care, something he will let Iraq have, but not us?

// posted by Law Talking Guy

Anonymous said...

Other goodies that Bush opposes at home:

Article 15(I) Civilians may not be tried before a military tribunal. Special or exceptional courts may not be established.

Article 15 (J) Torture in all its forms, physical or mental, shall be prohibited under all circumstances, as shall be cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. No confession made under compulsion, torture, or threat thereof shall be relied upon or admitted into evidence for any reason in any proceeding, whether criminal or otherwise.

Article 16 (A) Public property is sacrosanct, and its protection is the duty of every citizen.

Article 17.
It shall not be permitted to possess, bear, buy, or sell arms except on licensure issued in accordance with the law.

Article 20(b) No Iraqi may be discriminated against for purposes of voting in elections on the basis of gender, religion, sect, race, belief, ethnic origin, language, wealth, or literacy.

Article 43 (C) The National Assembly shall establish an independent and adequate
budget for the judiciary.


// posted by Law Talking Guy