Just caught the latest MSM coverage of the Iraqi constitution. It appears that anything short of complete consensus among the stakeholders will be considered a failure. Jayson at PoliPundit provides an explicit example. Is the media setting unrealistic expectations so as to gaurantee any result a failure in Iraq (and therefore a failure of Bush’s policies)?
Here’s some perspective for you: Quebec did not sign onto the Canadian Charter/Constitution when it was repatriated from Britain in 1982. That’s right, Canada – a peaceful country with a stable economy and a couple of hundred years of representative democracy under its belt, was unable to obtain complete consensus among the country’s stakeholders. For those of you not up on Canadian federalism, Quebec is a culturally and linguistically distinct society within Canadian federation. Quebec was not, however, a ruling minority that ruled over the majority through a brutal totalitarian regime over the past half-century and which actively supported terrorist attacks leading up to the drafting of the Constitution. The Sunnis were.
Obtaining complete consensus on a constitutional framework among all the stakeholders in any pluralistic society is difficult if not impossible. Setting up an expectation of complete consensus among the various groups in Iraq, and particularily among the Sunni minority, given that country’s history, is not only unrealistic, it’s simply dishonest.
UPDATE: Here’s a short, simple primer on the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution and the previous and subsequent failed attempts at reaching a consensus.
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