Last week:

After what had at times been a slow and frustrating process, the Tunisian National Assembly on Sunday evening voted to approve what is one of the most progressive constitutions in the region, with only 12 members of the 216-member legislative body voting against. Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki and outgoing Assembly chief Mustapha Ben Jaafar signed the document on Monday morning, bringing it into effect.

With its new constitution, Tunisia, the starting place of the massive protests that swept Western Asia and North Africa in 2011, manages in some ways to surpass even the United States in terms of enshrining progressive ideals. According to the most recent unofficial draft available in English, the government takes on responsibilities that the U.S. government has had to struggle to provide. Most of these principles are laid out in a Chapter 2 of the constitution, a section titled “Rights and Liberties” in the translation, which lays out 29 areas that the Tunisian state must provide for the betterment of the people — both now and in the future.
http://thinkprogress.org/security/20...ssive-america/


Here's just some of what these brave elected representatives agreed upon in the face of strong pressure from the more extreme factions of their parties:

  • Guaranteed equality between men and women
  • A constitutional mandate for environmental protection, only the third country in the world to do so
  • A declaration that health care is a human right, with preventative care and treatment for every citizen
  • A democracy with civil laws that respects freedom of religion
  • An established right to due process and protection from torture

In one stroke, Tunisia's become more democratic than many Western countries have been for years.
http://act.watchdog.net/petitions/42...ef=urLCkLLOC1w