Indeed it is: which should come first a constitution or elections? Should the writers of the constitutions be elected? Or nominated? Or should they contain an elected component and a nominated one? What if elections are conducted and then the resulting parliament has a majority which is considered ‘undemocratic’ or not mindful of the rights of some minorities?
It is a headache. On a related note, I was surprized to discover today how little influence the Egyptian constitution drafted by an islamist-majority parliament takes away from the ‘security apparatus’ of the State (for the Arabic version of the constitution, click here). Most articles concerning civil rights are ambiguous and leave a lot of room for interpretation.
I realized this when I discovered that the proposed amendments (for Arabic version of proposed amendments, click here) offer very little change over the previous islamist-drafted version! I actually am unclear what is to be amended, so similar the two constitutions look to me! It appears that most proposed amendments are of literary rather than profound political nature.
Perhaps there has been so little political maturity in Arab countries, due to repression and dictatorship, that everyone will end up running to the military, in one form or the other, to take charge in the end. That reminds me of a satirical article about feminism entitled: “Man finally put in charge of struggling feminist movement“.
I wonder what the new Algerian constitution will look like? And why make such lengthy constitutions? I much prefer short and effective constitutions. But who could write such constitutions in our part of the world?