This is less of a paper and more in the nature of reflections and testimony on the work of Riggs and his contribution in the area of constitutional design. It outlines how Riggs work and ideas can be relevant to a very important topic facing scholars and policy makers; namely how to build a stable, viable constitutional democracy in divided states, a condition prevailing in many countries of the world both developed and developing. I shall first identify the main contributions of Riggs to this topic, and then I shall discuss the characteristics of divided states and the dilemmas they face. Finally I shall conclude with an outline of a fair proposal to build viable constitutional democracies in divided states.
Riggs and Constitutional Designs
Since the publication of his classic book, Administration in Developing Countries, Fred Riggs has established himself as a prominent authority on comparative and development administration. The book and the various professional leadership positions that Riggs assumed both in the Comparative Administrative Group, funded by the Ford Foundation, and later his work within ASPA and its comparative administration section, elevated Riggs to become the most influential scholar in the field as far as thousands of scholars both in this country and overseas. Riggs overseas disciples, many of whom became eminent scholars and policy makers in their countries and in international organizations, who made him the most read and recognized author in the field of development administration and bureaucracy. I, like many other young scholars at that time, found in his writings the answer to many questions and problems we faced in our day to day observation of bureaucracies in developing countries.
Until the early seventies, my acquaintance with Professor Riggs was strictly through his writings, especially in the area of development and comparative administration. My first face to face encounter with him was in the fall of 1973, at a conference called by the University Consortium on Legislative Studies. This conference was held at the University of Hawaii under the leadership of Professor Riggs and the participation of scholars from Duke University, Iowa University, University at Albany, University of Hawaii, and several scholars from other universities associated with the Four University consortium. Indeed the whole consortium grew up from the work of professor Riggs with the Comparative Administration Group (CAG). A subcommittee of CAG was created to look at the whole issue of political and legislative development under the leadership of Allan Kornberg of Duke University and James Heaphey of the University at Albany.
This committee, responding to expressed interest by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), set up a mechanism within ASPA to explore the whole issue of political development and democratic government. With funding from USAID, this committee established the University Consortium on Legislative Studies. The Hawaii conference was one in a series of conferences sponsored by the Consortium on the whole question of legislatures and their role in development and in sustainable democracies in third world countries. Duke University Press eventually published the work of this group of scholars in a series of volumes under the leadership of Allan Kornberg.
Since the time of the Hawaii conference, my association with Professor Riggs, has become collegial, not only through his work but also most importantly through direct intellectual conversations, at various professional functions sponsored by the Consortium, ASPA, APSA, and other professional associations. Throughout the years that followed, I have had the pleasure of inviting Professor Riggs several times to my institution to share his ideas with my colleagues and students at the university. In 1990, I was stationed in Budapest, Hungary directing a technical assistant program to the Hungarian Parliament. This program was financed by USAID and implemented by the University at Albany under my direction. I invited Professor Riggs to address some scholars and policy makers in Hungary on the whole issue of constitutional design. This occasion provided me with a first hand opportunity to listen to him address the whole issue of the parliamentary form of government versus the presidential form of government.
In 1992, as part of a similar program with the Nicaraguan National Assembly, I invited Professor Riggs and other colleagues to address the whole issue of relationship among the three powers of the state (the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary) under the presidential system of government. This conference was at the request of the Nicaraguan National Assembly, which at that time was divided regarding the prerogatives of the assembly and its relationship with the executive and the Supreme Court.
As a result of that conference, Professor Riggs and I decided to launch the Committee on Viable Constitutionalism (COVICO), a group of scholars both from the US and overseas, to look at questions associated with the relationship of constitutional structures and viable democracies. Again, a series of conferences and panels was sponsored by this group, which gave me further opportunity to become more familiar with Professor Riggs’ ideas with respect to constitutional structures and democratic viability.
Reviewing Professor Riggs’ many scholarly papers, and as a result of the many conversations that I had with him on many of these questions, I would like to divide Riggs’ contribution, at least in my own thoughts on this topic, into four categories. The first category relates to the importance of institutions to understanding political behavior. The second category relates to the importance of comparative analysis to understanding political phenomena. The third, which is directly related to the second, is the importance of understanding the US political system in a comparative perspective. The fourth deals directly with presidential-parliamentary systems and their relationships to democratic viability. It should be mentioned that in Riggs’ own thoughts, all of these items are directly connected to the position he found himself taking with regard to the whole question of constitutional designs and democratic stability.
1. Institutions and Political Behavior
Riggs was not the first scholar to call attention to the importance of institutions to political behavior. He was one of few scholars however, to apply this approach to his research in the area of bureaucracy and development. At a time when those who advocated cultural variables to explain political behavior dominated the field, Riggs factored into his analysis the importance of institutions. Even in his book, Administration in Developing Countries, cultural variables were considered transitory variables. In his analysis, all countries are moving in similar directions, irrespective of cultural differences. It is not that Riggs did not consider cultural variables important. Whatever cultural differences exist, were explained as a product of institutional variables. Riggs managed to escape the cultural determinism that permeated many scholarly work of the time and still does so at present. Even when he encountered political behavior that appeared to be irrational, according to some analysts, Riggs managed to find perfectly reasonable and rational explanation for such behavior. Riggs’ subjects were always thinking and purposeful human beings, and not mere objects of derision and disrespect. The humanist elements in Riggs always took precedent over the ethnocentric orientation characteristics of many of his colleagues.
It is this compassion in his analysis that endeared him to many of his students, especially from third world countries. Riggs made them feel both equal and important. He did not try to intellectually patronize them. He always treated them with dignity and respect and tried to learn from them. In all the professional forums that I shared with Riggs, what impressed me most about him, is his willingness to listen and learn from the others. That is why Riggs is one of few US scholars who is welcomed all around the world and whose views are respected in many scholarly and policy circles. His family and his upbringing in a multi cultural environment nurtured this humanistic quality in Riggs’ work, as he explains in his autobiography.
2. Explanation and Comparative Analysis
There is no doubt that Professor Riggs' contribution to the study of comparative politics and administration stands as the hallmark of his academic achievement. As I have indicated earlier, this contribution was both professional and intellectual. The leadership role he played in the Comparative Administration Group and its derivative, the University Consortium for Legislative Studies, are only two of such efforts. Within the professional associations of ASPA, APSA, ISA, IPSA, and other institutions associated with UNESCO, Riggs’ panels and networks were all related to the study of the political, administrative or sociological phenomena comparatively. For Riggs, even explanation of the unique can tremendously benefit from a comparative perspective. Any theory that purports to be explanatory must be comparative.
Comparative analysis for Riggs is not simply a methodology to study only developing counties, because we do not have the time to study those countries individually, or because it is not worth studying them on their own terms, as many comparative scholars seem to have done. For many scholars in the field, comparative analysis became a short cut approach to cover up ignorance and indifference. Rather than going through the laborious task of field investigation and in-depth studies of all interrelated phenomena, comparative analysis became a convenient approach to lump countries together for the purpose of changing them (so-called technical assistance programs), rather than for the purpose of understanding them. Developing countries were not worth studying on their own, since the whole purpose of the study is to change them (develop them). For Riggs, comparative analysis involves studying all countries including the US. The purpose of these studies is to understand and to learn both about the other countries and our own as well. In the early eighties, while attending the APSA conference in San Francisco, I remember asking Riggs about his book, Administration in Developing Counties and whether it is applicable to the study of American politics. Riggs’ answer was it is as applicable to the US as any other country and that he intended it to be so.
Throughout his career, Professor Riggs was relentless in pushing the professional associations to include the study of American politics as part of comparative politics. He wrote innumerable letters to the leadership of these organizations pleading with them to include the study of American politics within a comparative perspective. For Riggs, such a move would not only enrich the study of comparative politics but also enrich the study of American politics.
3. America Politics in Comparative Perspective
It may sound ironical but true that a person who spent most of his intellectual life writing on developing countries to be singled out as a major contributor to the understanding of the American political system is rather ironic. For students of comparative politics and administration, Riggs’ analysis of the politics and administration in the United States stands out as insightful and certainly innovative and perceptive. Using the comparative method and the institutional analysis that he advocated, Riggs was able to view American constitutional, political, and administrative experiences in a new perspective. Riggs was one of a very few scholars who escaped the ideological cold war trap of evaluating the American experience either as an unqualified success model or as a hypocritical failure.
Riggs’ analysis of the American experience attempts to explain the special constitutional and para-constitutional variables that allowed the presidential experience in the United States to survive when it failed in many other countries that tried to copy that system. What is interesting about Riggs’ explanation is that it utilized the same institutional variables to explain the phenomena at hand. It is not our intention in this presentation to provide a detailed analysis of Riggs’ understanding of the functioning of the presidential system in America. Riggs has recently given this topic considerable attention. At a time when the impeachment proceedings of President Clinton by both the House and the Senate has dominated the news; it is important to highlight some of his principal findings.
Riggs’ research led him to the conclusion that the survival of the presidential system in America, in spite of its inherent proclivity to be unstable, may have to do with some of the trades-off that the American system has to give to attain such a stability. These trades-off include: a representative system that excluded many groups of society from being represented; a senate that does not give any weight for one person one vote; a federal government that was restrictive in its jurisdiction; a federal system of government and a separation of power arrangement that off sets the danger of the winner takes all characteristics of the presidential system; and a supreme court that refused to be drawn prematurely into arbitrating political difference that arose between the president and the congress. For the presidential system to survive in the US and avoid its inherent tendencies to gridlock, impasse and procrastination, it was necessary to have weak non-ideological political parties, a non-activist social and economic agenda, and an electoral system that allowed only those in the middle of the political spectrum to be represented. All the so-called minorities, whether those minorities are racial, ethnic, religious, or linguistic had to be excluded from having any effective voice in registering their demands.
Riggs’ powerful arguments regarding the American experience are very significant to many developing countries. Putting American experience in comparative perspective is so important because of the important role that the US has played in shaping other political systems especially since World War II. There is no dearth of studies about the American experience. Indeed it has been the most studied experience in the history of political institutions. As far as many developing countries are concerned, the American experience is significant because it has often been studied or advocated as a model for building viable democratic political system.
Unlike the French or the British experience, the American experience was not imposed directly as a result of a colonial occupation. With few exceptions, scholars and policy makers, as a result of analysis and voluntary adaptation, emulated the American experience. Throughout Central and South America, the American experience was adapted to design a political system that has all the trimmings of a presidential system. Yet, it failed to establish the desired stability or to insure the needed liberty.
After World War II, the American experience has been studied by hundred of thousands of foreign students studying in this country. Various United Nation's technical assistance programs have propagated it, as have US embassies overseas, and, recently, US technical assistance programs administered by the USAID have. In recent years, the Governance and Democracy focus of US technical assistance programs has made it possible for thousands of leaders in developing countries to study and become more familiar with the US presidential experience. So the focus that Riggs placed on the study and interpretation of the American presidential experience and the conclusions that he drew with regard to its relevance to developing countries is extremely important.
4. The Presidential-Parliamentary System of Government.
Throughout his writings, Riggs was aware of the importance of the political environment to the functioning of the administration. He rejected the politics-administration dichotomy that dominated the field of public administration and warned against its danger. The political environment within which it operates, as far as Riggs was concerned, shapes administration. Political institutions determine what the administration does and how it does it. The last thing that Riggs wanted to see is an efficient administration in the hand of a dictator. A democratic polity to Riggs was a prerequisite to any administrative efficiency.
Yet his early writings focussed on bureaucracy and development and paid little attention to the overall political system. It was in mid-eighties that Riggs’ writings began to focus on the political system as a whole. No doubt his experience with the University Consortium for Legislative Studies and the rapid discrediting of military regimes, first in Greece, Spain, and Portugal and later in many Latin American countries, focussed his attention on the importance of political institutions to administration. The ongoing debate among academics and policy makers as to the merits and demerits of the presidential system of government vis-a-vis the parliamentary system began to be highlighted in Riggs’ work. His first work on this topic focussed on the relationship of the form of government and the system viability or break down. It is here that Riggs made his first observation of directly relating incidence of breakdowns of political systems and the presidential system of government. His subsequent work focussed on why such was the case. Here Riggs focussed on what appeared to be an inherent instability of presidential system of government because the separation of power creates deadlocks and impasses that lead either to a coup d'etat or to a popular revolution. The "winner takes all" characteristics of presidential systems discriminates against minorities, prevents the emergence of coherent democratic political parties, and often leads to the utilization of the bureaucracy as a political instrument in the hand of the president to repay electoral debts. Riggs concluded that the parliamentary system of government is more conducive to democratic stability and to the development of a bureaucracy that is more accountable and professional. The main weakness of this analysis as far as Riggs was concerned, was the relative success of the US experience in developing a democratic viable system with a bureaucracy that is both professional and politically accountable. That is why it was necessary for Riggs to explain what he called "the exceptionalist case" of the US experience as we have discussed above.
It is not necessary for our purpose here to reach a final judgement as to the empirical accuracy of all of Riggs’ analysis with regard to the presidential-parliamentary debate. This debate will undoubtedly accelerate now as a result of the ongoing impeachment of President Clinton and the accusation of its politicized nature. The impeachment process that has been unfolding has taken its toll on both the public and scholarly communities. There is no doubt that Riggs’ writings have opened a whole series of questions that need to be addressed by the scholarly and policy community. In this presentation, I shall try to address one aspect of Riggs contribution in this area, namely the relevance of his writings to constitutional and institutional designs in divided societies.
Before we can assess the relevance of Riggs’ work in the area of institutions and constitutional designs to divided societies, it is important to point out some of the assumptions that dominated the literature on these societies with regard to democratization. One of the main assumptions concerned the nature and characteristic of modernization and how it is likely to affect these societies.
Since the Age of Enlightenment and until the present time, philosophers and social scientists have been asserting that in due time all societies will develop certain characteristics, where reason will replace faith, universalism will replace parochialism, and value neutral will replace value laden premises. Parson's pattern variables came to epitomize this transformation of traditional societies in their path to modernity. Unfortunately, traditional and parochial elements in all societies not only survived but also in many cases they flourished, particularly in divided societies. The collapse of the communist block and the emergence of all sorts of ethnic, religious, and linguistic divisions in Europe, Asia, and Africa are vivid examples of the collapse of all the liberal and enlightened assumptions about societies and their modernization characteristics. What we see instead is a revival of religion (in most cases in its fundamentalist manifestation), group identities, and primordial loyalties. The movement towards democratic governments has accentuated these tendencies. Political parties that espoused secular ideologies in time were transformed into parties expressing the interest of particular communities. Research has shown that invariably the interplay of democratic forces and the need to develop a power base for successfully winning an election redefined secular parties and made them less secular and more ethnically identified. The Marxist promise that conflict within modern societies will be horizontal, along economic variables, gave way to perpendicular division along ethnic, linguistic, and religious lines.
Another characteristic of divided societies is that they are composed of groups of unequal resources. Some groups are more numerous than other groups. Some groups have more economic resources and some groups are more informed than others are. These divisions are more permanent than they first appear. Economic and physical mobility within these societies is less spectacular than needed to make a difference. Designing a political system that will ensure both democratic government and political stability has been a formidable challenge.
It is here that the lessons one learns from Riggs’ writing are most illuminating. Of special interest is his analysis of the presidential system in the United States. The presidential system in the US was established to reflect the vision and interest of a dominant majority suspicious of governments in general and a strong central government in particular. This majority inhabited several autonomous states, some of which were larger than others. So what was the system they devised? A weak central system with limited functions was devised. Most government functions were left to state and local governments. To preserve liberty, the power of the president was balanced by an independent judiciary and an independently elected legislature. To insure that the legislature remained independent and not subject to popular whims, two houses: a lower house elected every two years and an upper house where membership was fixed for six years were created. Election for the legislature was independent from election to the presidency. The Lower House was elected through popular voting in single member districts of equal population. Membership in the upper house was originally indirectly chosen and later elected by states, irrespective of population. Thus each state was given a quota of two senators irrespective of its population. Neither the president can dissolve the legislature, nor can the legislature dismiss the president (except through impeachment).
Electoral laws were not part of the constitution but were left for each state to determine. Each state drafted its electoral laws and determined eligibility of voters. Over time, federal legislation and Supreme Court interpretation tried to provide some standards about eligibility and fairness in elections leading to the norm of one man one vote. In reality, however, the single member district majoritarian voting system insured that minorities who are scattered around were excluded, and that only the middle of the road representatives of the dominant groups have a realistic chance of being elected. Attempt to change this unrepresentative system failed and continued to be outside the realm of public policy debate. This system survived and flourished because of the dominant and pervasive power of the majorities (numerical, economic, political, and informational) that benefited. Minorities were helpless and utterly dependent, and had no power to shape or change such a system. Instead of political parity for group representation, individuals of those groups decided that the pursuit of economic or political dreams may be more realistic at the individual level rather than venturing to seek group political power within the system.
Those societies that adopted the presidential system did not adopt the American presidential system but an idealized, perverted version of that system. The precaution that the founding fathers took to insure a limited government, with autonomous state and local institutions, gave way to an overpowering centralized government with extensive power not simply to manage the society and control the economy, but to own the economy and control society. The delicate balance of power among the three branches of government characteristics of the American Presidential system was instead replaced with an imperial presidency that subjected both the other branches and other governmental units to its sweeping centralized power. The senate, rather than representing those units in society that wanted to preserve some degree of autonomy, became another structure of power for the executive and the party in power to impose its will on the rest of society. In many Central American countries, the senate as an institution was altogether discarded.
To add to this perversion to the American presidential system, those countries adopted electoral laws that tied the election of the president to legislative election. Thus, in some of these countries, winning the presidency may also lead to winning the legislature. In those countries where the manipulation of the electoral laws did not produce a majority for the party that dominates the presidency, constitutions were drafted to insure that the president could override legislative decisions, such as the Medida Provisorio (provisional measures) given to the president in Brazil.
There has been much explanation as to why these countries adopted a perverted version of the American presidential system. Some have suggested that the American Presidential System was not properly understood as it historically unfolded. That was what Riggs tried to demonstrate in his writing about the American presidential system. In my own research on Brazil, I found another more basic reason for this adaptation of the American presidential system. The system that emerged in Brazil in the 1987 constitution was a by-product of two opposing forces, those representing the dominant groups in society and their liberal critics. The dominant groups in society wanted a presidential system, but they wanted a system that worked and that did not lead to impasse and gridlock. The federal government in Brazil was very powerful and those who controlled it did not want many restrictions and limitations on its power. Yet they also wanted to avoid the unrepresentative electoral system that prevails in the American presidential system. An electoral system was adopted that is more representative than the single member majoritarian system. This enabled many groups and political parties of being represented in the legislature. The president had little hope of having his party dominates the legislature. The prospect of gridlock and impasse increased. The constitution had to provide the president with certain power to break the gridlock as contained in the Medida Provisorio. In Brazil, as in many other countries where the state is powerful, any impasse creates a crisis. Often these crises are not resolved through further political dialogue but quite often through a coup d’etat or a popular uprising.
This state of affairs is not limited to presidential systems. It also extends to parliamentary systems. It is, however, more prevalent, as Riggs has demonstrated, in presidential systems where the winner takes all and where minority groups have little chance or space of politically surviving and organizing openly and legally to unseat those in power.
The question facing divided societies, therefore, is the following: can divided societies successfully adopt the American presidential system? Put differently, how viable is the American presidential model to democratic viability in divided societies? The answer appears to be not very promising. There are several reasons why divided societies face serious difficulties with the presidential system, American style.
To adopt the American model and make it survive, two conditions should be present: a strong dominant majority that restricts competition to its own members, and weak and unorganized minorities that have no choice but to play by the rules designed by the majority. The Republican-Democratic competition is a good illustration of the strength of the dominant majority. Minorities are allowed into the system to the extent they buy into the ideologies and game plans of these two parties. The details of the presidential system discussed above, separation and balance of power, federalism, and the electoral system, are devices to regulate the competition among members of this majority. To a large extent this system worked and thrived in the US.
Divided societies however do not meet these two conditions. Majorities do not have such a preponderant power nor are minorities as helpless. Numerical majorities, for various historical and political reasons, do not usually have the overwhelming economic or the cultural power to obliterate the minorities. Thus, the Moslem majority in Egypt cannot obliterate the presence of the Christian Copts, the original inhabitants of Egypt. The Arab Moslems in Morocco and Algeria cannot obliterate the Berbers' presence in North Africa. The Moslems can not obliterate the Christians in Lebanon. The Moslem Turks can not obliterate the Kurdish Moslems. The Hausa-Fulani Moslems in Nigeria can not obliterate the Ibo or the Yoruba. This is the case in most of Asia and Africa and many of the former communist countries in Europe and Asia. So if these divided countries adopted the American Presidential system and the electoral system that goes with it, the system fails because the minorities feel excluded and either withdraw from the system , revolt against the electoral fraud, or bring the system to a halt. To avoid this paralysis, those countries that adopted the presidential system found it necessary to adapt it. The Chief executive was normally provided with some kind of extra-ordinary power that led to the system developing authoritarian characteristics, represented in a military dictatorship or a one party dominated systems, where minorities were forcibly oppressed.
In general, the parliamentary system advocated by many liberals has some advantages over the presidential system, but, without adequate safeguards, may also lead to authoritarian regimes or one party dominated systems. Its advantage, if the various groups in society are fairly represented, is that it allows for power sharing through a coalition type of government.
Coalition type governments are basically different in parliamentary systems than cabinets in presidential systems. In parliamentary systems, the parties to the coalition receive their authority and legitimacy through election. Thus, those ministers in the cabinet have political representative legitimacy. The members of the coalition government are legitimate because each one of them has a power base in his communities. It is different from the type of coalition that many presidents try to formulate to win elections and then to rule after winning elections. Coalitions formulated for winning elections under presidential systems are temporary and disappear once elections are completed. Those formulated after election are not concluded among politically legitimate actors. Indeed, they are between a popularly and nationally elected presidents and technocrats who may have skills but little political legitimacy. They are between a superior and bureaucratic inferiors. While cabinet members in coalition parliamentary governments carry their weight and bring with them their political supporters in the legislatures, cabinet members in a presidential system have to draw on the political legitimacy of the president to conduct their own work. Groups represented through presidential appointments do not consider themselves politically represented. On the other hand, groups represented in a coalition cabinet in a parliamentary system are politically represented both in the executive and the legislature.
The problem in a parliamentary system however is not structural but representational. The real danger in a parliamentary system is to have a weak majority dominating both the executive and the legislature, and, at the same time, misusing the judiciary to sustain its domination and to exclude other minorities from sharing power. When this happens, a parliamentary system can be as authoritarian as a presidential system. In fact, in many cases, it turns into an abusive presidential system disguising as a parliamentary one. Spain under Franco and Portugal under Salazar are examples of such a system. The challenge for parliamentary systems in divided societies is in preventing those systems from turning into dictatorships where the party in power controls both the executive and the legislature without the benefit of separation and balance of power or a federalism that may safeguard some local autonomy. The real challenge then for divided societies is how to induce the majority to give fair representation to the minorities and how to make them a partner in a coalition government.
1. Allocate seats to minority groups
The democratic experience of one man one vote in divided societies, even when faithfully applied, has not lead to fair representation of minorities. In societies where minority vote is scattered throughout majority dominated territories, minorities are not likely to be elected. Depending on the degree of animosities, majorities, especially weak majorities, are likely to bind together and elect one of their own. Even in territorially segregated societies, minorities are not likely to be adequately represented. Issues of relevance to the minorities (language, religion, and other family matters) are likely to be dominated by the majority. Territorial representation alone, at its best, has failed to adequately represent minorities in issues of importance to them. Modern liberal democracy, under all sorts of philosophical justification, has been biased in favor of territorial representation.
Yet a look at representation in some ancient western democracies will show that territorial representation was not the only type of representation in society. England and Ireland, for example, did experiment with professional representation. In Ireland, for example, the then Senator Mary Robinson (later President of Ireland and presently Commissioner of Human Rights at the United Nations), represented the university community in the Dublin in the Irish Senate. Indeed, the House of Lords in the United Kingdom is nothing but a place where endangered nobility found a haven that enabled it to protect its interest from the encroachment of popular territorial representatives. The senate in the US is another illustration of an institution that was designed to protect the interest of entities (states) against the unpredictability of the popularly elected House of Representatives.
There are many other examples of representation of groups in society that are not simply based on territorial representation. In Egypt, peasants and workers are allocated a special percentage of seats in both the Senate and in the Peoples’ Assembly. The armed forces are also allocated a certain number of seats. So non-territorial representation is not such a completely novel idea after all. What may be novel, however, is applying this concept to representation of ethnically diverse groups in society. For some reason, liberal thought accepted this approach only when it was meant to protect the interests of privileged minorities. The allocation of seats to under privileged groups remained unacceptable. Thus it was acceptable to allocate seats to protect the interests of Whites in former Rhodesia and recently in South Africa, even though for an interim basis. There is a need to experiment in the allocation of seats based on criteria other than territorial.
2. Encourage intra-group competition and inter-group cooperation
Allocation of seats to groups is only the first step. Unless properly managed, the tendency to polarize politics among different groups in society would likely increase. Instead of electing representatives that could work together across groups, democratic politics would likely send extremists from various groups. What is needed, therefore, is an electoral system that limits competition within groups and encourages cooperation across groups. A single member majoritarian districts would not work. What is needed is an enlarged electoral district where seats are allocated among groups in accordance of their group identification, and where electorates at large in that mixed district cast their votes to a set of candidates (a list) while observing seat distribution in that district. A district that has 2 candidates from category (A), 3 candidates from category (B), and 1 candidate from category (C), would give each voter in that district the opportunity to elect 6 candidates from among all the candidates as long as the list of candidates he or she selects has 2A, 3B and 1C. To win election in this mixed district electoral system, it is necessary to enter into coalition among candidates from various groups. Electoral competition is strictly among members of each group. For example the 2A candidates from one list would be competing against 2A candidates from another other list in the same district. The 3B candidates from one list would also be competing against 3B candidates from the other list.
Since electoral competition remains within the boundaries of each group, cooperation is encouraged across group lines. To create a winning coalition, it is necessary to formulate electoral lists to exchange votes among supporters of various candidates on the list. Those lists that have less conflict among its members are likely to find that their supporters are more willing to exchange votes. Lists that have candidates whose views are clearly divergent are less likely to convince their supporters to exchange votes for the other members of the list. This means that the candidates who express extremist views on policy issues are less likely to join a list and create a coalition with candidates from the other groups. Electoral lists are likely to be formulated from moderates from various groups. This coalition among candidates from various groups during the election is likely to continue after the election, albeit with some modification. Thus, those who come to represent the various groups are likely to be the moderate elements in each group, facilitating the formation of coalition government where all significant groups are represented.
3.A second chamber to represent groups equally irrespective of group size
One of the genuine innovation in the US constitution is not the invention of a Senate but how that Senate was to be selected and the nature of the representation it would have. Whether directly or indirectly elected, the Senate represented an entity in the nation (the state): without its cooperation the federation would not have been possible. To secure that willingness to live together without the fear that the bigger states would dominate the smaller states, it was necessary to give those states equal representation irrespective of the size of population. I think divided societies may have a lot to learn from this example. While groups may vary in number and power, to live together in a viable democratic system, minorities need to be given assurance that they will not be unjustly subjugated to the whims and prejudices of the majorities. To secure a viable democratic polity, the majority needs to assure the minorities and dispel their fears. This can be done through the instrument of a second chamber with certain defined power, to act as a veto mechanism on actions that one group considers vital to its own survival. The experience of the US senate has a lot to recommend in this regard. It is assuring that some countries have begun experimenting with this idea. Morocco's recent constitutional reforms and the creation of a second Chamber of Counselors are cases worth studying.
Liberal democracy elevated random democracy to a norm. Yet the review of the American political experience, illustrated beyond a doubt, that the framers of the constitution were far from having random democracy in mind when they crafted the constitution. The political system that was created meticulously reflected the vision and interests of the dominant groups in society. First, it crafted a federal system of government. It separated and balanced the powers of the central government. Finally, it created a senate and bestowed it with enormous power with no regard to equal representation. The abstract formulation of liberal democracy and its random system of political representation did not bind the framers of the American constitutional system of government. They were intent on creating a system that would insure liberty and viability. They succeeded in doing so, because in their constitutional design, they were guided by the political, economic, and social reality of the society they were dealing with. They were innovative and daring and not burdened by precedents and norms not relevant to their case.
Since the end of the Nineteenth century, when constitutions began to be drafted, and, especially after World War I and II, designers of constitutions found easier to emulate rather than to innovate. Justifications were found in the abstract writings of philosophers and social scientists rather in the reality of the societies in which they lived. While the framers of the American constitution searched for the best system that would serve the American society, the others kept searching for ways to change society so that it would fit into the abstract theory that they believed in.
At least in the case of divided societies, random democracy advocated by well-meaning liberals, failed to produce liberty or stability. It is time we began experimenting with structured and complex democracy as an alternative to random democracy. Random democracy is rarely a reflection of any political reality and more of an ideology to justify the views and interests of a dominant majority, or wishful thinking on not what is but what should be. Structured and complex democracy is a daring and innovative democracy. It is a democracy based on realistically assessing political forces in a country and designing innovative institutions to reflect the balance of forces among these various groups. The goal of structured democracy is a fair representation of political groups in society for the purpose of securing liberty and stability.
Thus, allocation of seats among various groups in society, mixed list systems, and a senate representing groups, irrespective of their numeral strength, are only some manifestations of this structured democracy. Innovative solutions can extend to other aspects of constitutional designs and electoral systems. I hope the pioneering work of Professor Riggs can inspire us to shed our well ingrained belief systems of what is feasible and viable in constitutional designs.
See linked pages: 
Baaklini's original TEXT
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Riggs' Autobiography Chap.6: Constitutionalism || Table of Contents 
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