Tuesday, August 23, 2005
The Proposed Iraqi Constitution
(As an aside, I would rather live under what I've read of this Constitution than the EU Constitution. At least this one appears to mean something.) End Update.
Newsday/AP has an story with a lot of the text of the proposed Iraqi Constitution, and it looks pretty good to me. The naysayers are focusing on a few words and ignoring the guarantees of personal and political freedom:
Article TwoYou know, I do not see how anyone, including women, could be worse off under this Constitution. Freedom of religion, expression, the press, political organization and requiring judicial warrants for arrests sounds pretty darn good to me.
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.
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.
* 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.
The State guarantees:
1. Freedom of expression by all means.
2. Freedom of the press, printing, advertising and publishing.
Freedom to establish political groups and organizations.
Iraqis are free to abide in their personal lives according to their religion, sects, beliefs or choice. This should be organized by law.
No less than 25 percent of Council of Deputies seats go to women.
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.
All I'm watching for is something that keeps the ownership of the government in the hands of the people and not concentrated in a few power brokers. If the people own it, it will be OK, because even if they get it wrong this time (We did our first time too), they can go back and redo it.
One encouraging sign is that a Parliament leader seemed to be pressuring the groups involved with negotiating the Constitution.
Once you get the back-and-forth going it is a lot harder to lose the whole ball game.
As long as the people have the power to throw the whole thing out and start over, then I'm not concerned, if they lose that, then it's trouble.
"No law may contradict Islamic standards" AND
"No law may contradict democratic standards" AND
"No law may contradict the essential rights and freedoms mentioned in this constitution"
I'm with Tommy, which is why I'm trying to find the full text. It's going to come down to who controlls the courts.
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