According to the CIA – The World Factbook 2002 — Iraq Iraq (pre-invasion) had 18 governorates (muhafazat, singular – muhafazah); Al Anbar, Al Basrah, Al Muthanna, Al Qadisiyah, An Najaf, Arbil, As Sulaymaniyah, At Ta’mim, Babil, Baghdad, Dahuk, Dhi Qar, Diyala, Karbala’, Maysan, Ninawa, Salah ad Din, and Wasit. I have not checked the actual boundaries as they relate to the autonomous Kurd region, but important point to make here is that a way to effectively give representation to the various Shite, Sunni, Kurdish groups is to follow the model of the United States.
Consider the struggles of America’s founders in dealing with states rights and a central government. Small states were worried about proportional representation which begat the Senate, while large states got proportional representation in the House. And independent judiciary and executive branch, of course, rounded out the equation. States rights advocates wanted local political power and a limited central government, and they got it. 200+ years of history has seen the role and responsibility of the central government increase, but the case can be made that states have signed on to this to a certain extent.
So for all the factions meeting today at Tallil air base in Iraq the real goal should be to carve our United States of Iraq.