"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

My Morning Constitutional 

You know how some bloggers have a little tagline at the end of each post, describing their current mood (as if anyone cares) - you know, like
Mood: Giddy ;)

or
Mood: Sad :(

or
Mood: Horny :>

or something along those lines? Well, for the record, my current mood is that I have an overpowering urge to get stinking drunk and stay that way until sometime after Christmas. As if anyone cares.

Anyway, those of you who are following the bizarre saga of the Iraqi Constitution ought to go check out Prof. Cole:
According to the interim constitution, the permanant constitution should have been presented to parliament and passed by August 15. There should have been two readings of it, two days apart, before the vote. Otherwise, parliament should have been dissolved and new elections called. Parliament avoided this fate with a last-minute amendment of the interim constitution, allowed if by 3/4 vote, though the nicety of two readings of the amendment two days apart was dispensed with (arguably, unconstitutionally, though it is a relatively minor affair). The amendment stipulated that the new constitution would by passed by August 22, with other conditions unchanged.

The new constitution, with blank passages, was presented to parliament just before midnight on August 22. But parliament did not vote on it, and a "three-day delay" was announced.

Announced?

The rule of law is no longer operating in Iraq, and no pretence of constitutional procedure is being striven for. In essence, the prime minister and president have made a sort of coup, simply disregarding the interim constitution. Given the acquiescence of parliament and the absence of a supreme court (which should have been appointed by now but was not, also unconstitutionally), there is no check or balance that could question the writ of the executive.

It kind of makes you wonder why anyone is bothering to put much work into drafting a constitution, when past performance indicates that no one will pay much attention to it, anyway.

 

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