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New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
Grade 7 like multiple choice could solve the constitution making
process and beyond
December 03, 2012
View this article on the Technology Zimbabwe website
in the process
of drafting a new constitution, this is a follow up to the GNU
agreement passed in the year 2008. As we are all familiar with
by now, the constitution making process has been a long and excruciating
journey. It started with "crowdsourcing" - to
use the modern term - followed by proposals coming from political
parties and lobby groups. Because of the complex nature of gathering
all the facts, the government set up a professional body called
COPAC to do all the leg work of gathering facts and performing all
the necessary consultation and administration across the country.
all the facts were gathered and the next stage was the correlation
of gathered data to produce a draft document which would be reviewed
by the GNU partners before being pushed further to the nation for
(also known as a plebiscite or a vote on a ballot question) is a
direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept
or reject a particular proposal, usually a piece of legislation
which has been passed into law by the local legislative body and
was signed by the pertinent executive official(s). This may result
in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment,
a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government
So how does
the grade seven-like multiple choice help us?
Well, when a
referendum is conducted individuals are required to vote a yes or
a no to either entirely accept the document or a no to entirely
reject the document just as stated above. In most cases there is
no middle ground. This is what makes the whole exercise so politically
exciting. How would it be if all the key elements of the constitution
where listed on a grade seven-like multiple choice paper with questions
or rather items ranging in hundreds and all the people would have
to do would be to shade boxes that correspond to their responses?
Obviously this method would have its own (bugs) demerits and its
strengths. The strengths would be;
would make it so easy to analyse data and ultimately deal with
all sticking points using available data
- This model
would best represent the views of the nation rather than anyone
claiming to know what the views of the nation would be.
- There would
be no "human error" in interpretation of gathered
- Each item
on the "multiple choice" paper would receive its own
yes or no based on the popular response thus eliminating further
problems of never ending debates which can waste a lot of tax-payers'
- The formulation
of the constitution would then be based on the gathered data thus
simplifying the whole process.
- Using some
combination of affordable technology and software this system
could be most reliable way to get around the logjam that is eminent.
Yes, this could
sound so novel and inapplicable but to solve this African problem
we need an African solution . . . and the grade seven exams have
been written in this country by close to 90% of those that are eligible
to vote anyway. There are a lot of loop holes in the above proposed
solution but as you identify them, think of how they could also
be eliminated and ultimately improve the system. This "grade
seven multiple choice" can even be extended to elections too
and those ZIMSEC machines could help run the elections too . . . .why
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