More on the elections in Iraq
Last Tuesday I promised front-page coverage to anyone who could find info about the upcoming Iraqi election process. "Someone" discovered this post on an Iraqi blog, listing all of the approved political parties. Isn't it amazing how quick and willing people are to use their freedom when they've been denied it so long? Reminds me of an old political cartoon I saw during the breakup of the Soviet Union, showing a peasant family breaking off and declaring themselves to be the independent republic of Vladimir and Olga, or some such . . . "chthus" found this article which details the plans the Shi'ites are laying to make sure they receive a majority of the parliamentary seats in the upcoming election. "chthus" goes on to offer this: "I don't have an article currently, but here's some information. As the reader aboved linked, Fayrouz tells us 24 of more than 50 parties that have applied have been approved so far, with more likely to follow. January's elections are not for a president/leader (executive branch), but to fill the 275 member National Assembly (legislative branch). Each eligible party will offer up a ranked list of candidates (1, 2, 3...). For each 1/275th of the vote the party receives, their top candidate become a member. For example, a party that gets 5/275ths of the vote (1.8%) would get it's top five listed members on the assembly." "This assembly is then charged with drafting a constitution at a spring convention, shooting to have one drafted by August 15th or so. This will then held to a referendum of popular vote by October 15th or so. If it passes, elections as provided under the constitution are to be held by Dec 15th, 2005, with the elcted govt taking over by Dec 31st, 2005. If the referendum should fail, National Assembly is dissolved and Dec 15th, 2005 will be for electing a new National Assembly, with the whole thing starting over again." So today we learn that elections will take place on January 30th. 10 weeks to go! Finally, I found this story on Arab ministers' view of the elections to be downright hilarious. "Iraq had somewhat upstaged a major international conference in Egypt on its future by announcing the date for the first post-Saddam Hussein elections a day before the meeting opened." "But not everyone was impressed by its confidence. "Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, hosting the conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh said the meeting would be deciding whether the vote could be held on time, adding that "the question needs to be re-examined". "The debates that will take place ... are very important because they will look at the question of the elections and decide on whether they can take place on the date envisaged or whether it needs more reflection." Wow! Isn't that rich stuff! All of a sudden, the timing and possibility of Iraqi elections are subject to the whims and approvals of the Arab ministers. This makes sense of course given their incredible support for the war and all of the gallons of blood their people have spilled in its prosecution. The problem, my despot friends, is that those gallons were spilled on the losing side. Of course they want to take a good, hard look at how they can stop the elections! Elections in Iraq will mean doom for these has-beens who govern by diktat. How long will it be after successful Iraqi elections before the Egyptians are wondering why they've never had true electoral freedom? Here's more: "In Syria, the state-owned daily Ath-Thawra said that the Sharm el-Sheikh conference represented "the best chance for the international parties to affirm the importance of the United Nations and neighbouring countries" in organizing the elections." "But it also warned: "The elections must take place on all Iraqi territory and not on 75 percent of the country as the United States hints at due to the insecurity in regions where resistance actions are taking place." Please allow me to be the first to point out that 75% of a country having an election is exactly 75% greater than the 0% of Syria that has ever had a fair election. Syria is not a democracy. All of a sudden, the Syrians are experts in elections. Don't you love it? The Iraqis were smart to pre-emptively name the day for elections before this conference could try and talk them out of it.