2/07/2005

good-gov

There is some discussion that Iraq may not be moving toward a "Good Government". Without taking a side on this discussion, I suggest we should determine how we measure whether a country is Good or not. I sent the following to the author of:

Iraq and Iran

What I would like to see is the development of a set of criteria so that as
time proceeds we can measure the Iraq government, and others, against them.
e.g.


  1. Competition -- There is a "reasonable" degree of un-certaincy in the
    outcome of elections.

  2. Government supremacy -- The elected/appointed Government is supreme and
    no other group has veto power over it.

  3. No State Religion -- There is no specific religious test, requirement,
    etc. in the law that favors any religion over another. (Note: We may extend
    this to not favoring religion over say agnostics)

  4. Bill of Rights -- There are guaranteed rights that specify the limits of
    the Government that are extensive and can only be changed by a lengthy
    super-majority process.

  5. Rule of Law -- The property and liberty of individuals is protected
    against government actions except through the open action of the
    governmentally authorized agencies as they follow clearly stated legal
    structures.

  6. Free enterprise -- Individuals can participate in economic interactions
    without "significant" involvement by the Government.


Others?

The Case for Democracy: Town Square society -- Not Fear society.
    Free societies are societies in which the right of dissent is protected. In contrast, fear societies are societies in which dissent is banned. One can determine whether a society is free by applying what we call the “town-square test.” Can someone within that society walk into the town square and say what they want without fear of being punished for his or her views? If so, then that society is a free society. If not, it is a fear society.

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