The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005

How Do You Enforce That? 

Instapundit points to this post by Bill Roggio talking about how the fears that Iraq will turn into an Islamic theocracy based on the proposed constitution are unfounded:

The text of the constitution gives sound reason to believe Iraq is not being established as an Islamist state. Article Two of the submitted draft explains the role of both Islam and democracy:

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.

Article Seven denounces terrorism and vows to fight it. Chapter Six, Article 151 grants the women one-quarter of the seats on the assembly. Article 36 grants "Freedom of expression by all means" and "Freedom of the press, printing, advertising and publishing." Article 39 states "Iraqis are free to abide in their personal lives according to their religion, sects, beliefs or choice."

Seems pretty convincing actually. One thing mentioned there however actually troubles me, and I've talked about it before. In fact, I talked about it more than a year ago regarding the interim constitution. It's the requirement that 25% of the legislature be women. Don't get me wrong... I'm all for women being in the legislature. My question is, how does one enforce such a requirement in a true democracy?

In a true democracy, people choose to run for office. Hypothetically, what happens if women don't run for office in Iraq? Is the government there going to conscript women for the legislature? In a true democracy, those who choose to run are voted on by the people to decide who serves. What if many women run, but they don't win any elections? Are the ballot boxes going to be stuffed in their favor? In a system where people not only have to choose to run, but also have to be chosen by others to serve, how is this practical? More importantly, how can it be considered Democratic?

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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