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Please read the fact pattern below and answer the following questions:
Imagine you are a leader in a post-colonial African country and you are considering what type of constitution your country should adopt. You are excited about independence, but your country faces several challenges. The country has an oil-rich region in the north and a number of large cities in the south. The population is divided into three ethnic groups. One group makes up 50% of the population and dwells in the oil-rich north of the country. The second largest ethnic group makes up 47% of the population and this group predominately, but not exclusively, lives in the cities in the south. The third ethnic group makes up 3% of the population and cooperated with the colonizers.
Prior to colonization, the three groups did not live in one unified country. During colonization, tensions emerged among the three groups. A brief civil war developed immediately after colonization. Fearing retribution for cooperating with the colonizers, the ethnic group with 3% of population allied itself the majority ethnic group. The majority ethnic group with its allies emerged as the winners of the civil war.
If you want to maintain stability in the country, would you recommend that the country adopt a constitution similar to the United States Constitution, the British Constitution, or another type of constitution? What would be the essential elements of your country’s proposed constitution?
Some things to ponder: What are the pros and cons of possessing a written constitution like the United States? Are there any advantages to having an unwritten constitution like the United Kingdom?
Now, after answering the questions above, if your last name begins with A – G, please play the role of the leader of this country and advocate for your position.
If your last name begins with H – M, please play the role of the majority ethnic group making up 50% of the population. What is your position on the above questions and why?
If your last name begins with M – R, please play the role of the ethnic group making up 47% of the population. What is your position on the above questions and why?
If your last name begins with S – Z, please play the role of the 3rd ethic group who makes up only 3% of the population. What is your position on the above questions and why?