BAGHDAD (AP) — With a midnight deadline only hours away, Iraq's political leaders met Monday in search of a compromise over a new constitution. Some lawmakers said differences remained over the role of Islam and women's rights, but others reported progress. …
The initial Aug. 15 deadline was pushed back a week after no agreement was reached. Iraqi officials have insisted they would meet this second deadline and present a final document to the National Assembly …
OK, first of all, Don't Panic. You've still got a few hours left. I've written term papers in less time. You folks can still get your constitution written by midnight.
And here's the good news: You're allowed to cheat. You don't even have to attribute or footnote or anything. Trust me, I'm an American and this is what we did. We cribbed off of the Iroquis nations for our first draft, the Articles of Confederation.
Admittedly, that draft wasn't a keeper, but it got us through an initial rough patch and gave us time to regroup and write the Constitution we're still using to this day — 216 years later.
This is a pretty good Constitution. Feel free to use it. The whole thing is online, so you can just copy and paste. Control-A, Control-C, Control-V and you're done.
Well, almost done. You might want to edit a little. We've done some editing ourselves over the years. Take a quick look at our amendments and think about just incorporating those right into the body of the text. The first 15 are especially good, but feel free to ignore the 18th (it didn't work out too well).
You'd be a lot better off not copying all that "three-fifths of a person" stuff, of course, that part was a really bad move. (Correcting that mistake was a bloody mess, and we've still got a lot of work to do.)
Oh, and you might want to find stronger language for the part that gives Congress the power, "To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water." That seems perfectly clear, but it turns out presidents don't like the idea very much and will find all kinds of ways to arrogate this power for themselves.
Overall, though, this document has served us well for a long time and I don't see why you should have to try to reinvent the wheel.
Especially since you've only got until midnight.