Build a constitution

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Your first task is daunting. You have been selected as representatives of a new country, just given its independence. Your job is to help draft the country’s new Constitution.

Prior to achieving independence, the country had 5 distinct regions: the West, Southwest, Northeast, Southeast and Midwest. Each region has common features, like natural resources and climate. All but one of the regions, the Southeast, border other countries. Three regions (the West, Northeast and Southeast) border an ocean or sea while the other two are landlocked. The two landlocked regions have richer agricultural, cattle and mineral reserves than those with ocean or sea access. There are five major rivers in the country flowing through all regions except the West. A series of roadways crosses the country.

Now that the country has achieved independence, the regions are wanting to become more independent. Each region sees advantages to being part of the larger nation, but also sees advantages of self-rule over matters that are unique to their respective areas. Some regional politicians have even begun discussions about dissolving the national currency, national military and national government (including the legislative and judicial departments).

Because not everyone in the country agrees on the issues, you have to seek compromise. In your group discussion, I expect you will collectively discuss the following questions:

How will the country continue now that it has gained its independence? How should the national government – if you choose to maintain one – be organized? How specific should you be about the national government and the rights of regional areas? Which will have primacy, the national or regional governments? And, will that primacy be in all areas or only some? Will you choose to enumerate individual rights and protections?

The task, as stated above, is daunting. After you and your colleagues have discussed the broader concepts of governance, you are to write a brief memo providing your individual thoughts on one of the two questions posed below. Answer only one of the two questions – not both.

As you know, you are on a tight time schedule. And, your boss is very busy. She does not want an answer that exceeds 50 words. She realizes you cannot answer all the questions discussed during the group sessions. Instead, she expects you will answer ONLY the following question:

1. Do you advise having a stronger national government or a stronger regional government? Regardless of your choice, please make sure you explain your decision.

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