Three weeks away from the national referendum on the Iraqi constitution and I still have not seen the promised 5 million copies of the draft that were supposed to be printed and distributed. Obviously there are ways you can get hold of a copy if you wanted to but I somehow assumed that it was the duty of the government to inform us what they are asking us to vote for.
We are seeing the same patterns as the ones we’ve seen during the elections emerge. Sistani is slowly announcing his endorsement of the draft signalling to his Shia followers that they should go vote with YES. The Kurds are also going to approve it, although there is a faction that is not happy with the amount of autonomy they get in this constitution. But the fact is their leaders still prefer to stay attached to Iraq for the moment. And the Sunnis are boycotting, what else did you expect? We’ve seen it before and we can tell what will happen. The draft will be ratified.
It is what happens during the next elections that will be decisive for the future of Iraq because many of the issues in the constitutions will need to be set to laws by the next elected government.
Take for example the issue of the Federal Courts. Although the constitution states that there will be Law experts and Sharia experts presiding how they are chosen and their number is left to the legislator. One of the duties of this Court is the interpretation of the text of the constitution. If the next National Assembly looks like the one we have now you can bet your prayer beads that there will more turbans one in the Federal Court.
After a lot of soul searching and nail biting I have made up my mind about the draft.
I don’t like it. I believe we should have done better. And I am especially angry about the US administration for jumping around and cheering about how great this document is, just stop it.
I am also scared of the prospect of having to go through the whole process again, of stopping the ball rolling. Like a cartoon character that has just ran off a cliff I am afraid that if I stop my feet from running and look down I will plunge into an abyss.
I don’t have enough faith in us to say let’s scrap this and start with another transitional government. I feel exhausted.
If the vote were tomorrow I would vote YES and hope that the next elected National Assembly won’t have as much of a religious majority as the current one. I have opted for the ‘optimistic idiot’ option again; I know I will be disappointed.
In the meantime I am putting on my headphones and pretending the world does not exist.
The draft will be ratified.
I’m Still Your Fag – Broken Social Scene