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Interest and Perspective

Our views depend on our priorities and the information we receive

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Cultural negotiations

Saleh al-Mutlaq, one of four main Sunni negotiators, told The Associated Press: ``We will reject [the proposed constitution] and the people will be angry, the street will be angry and as a result we will be back to square one.'" Civil war?

The Sunnis' objections are based in their opposition to a self-governed region for Shiites; they say they want to deal with these after ratification and do not want any federalism provisions in the constitution itself.

I gotta say, that's the sort of thing that should go in a constitution. Horizontal sovereignty of political subdivisions can be legislated, but that means that it can be unlegislated. If a certain group or region should be independant in order to protect minority rights, that can't be left to the parliament or the courts. On the other hand, it might be better to keep things fluid (just in case the country actually has a chance of becoming a cohesive whole). But a lot of problems can be headed off by dealing with this stuff now.

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