Thursday, April 07, 2005

Representative democracy in Iraq

So, Iraq has a president. It's good news, of course - but does anyone else find it interesting that the Iraqi Parliament is electing its officers and government by a secret ballot?

The whole point of representative democracy is that representatives are held accountable by the electorate for their behaviour - including their vote. The election of a government is one of the most significant votes representatives can make, and one on which they should expect to be held accountable. The use of the secret ballot seems deliberately designed to thwart this.


The problem is that being acountable in Iraq at the moment involves being accountable to people with guns and bombs.

It's a tough call. You don't want people to be discouraged from voting the way they think they should out of fear for their life, but you also don't want to have them safely voting for their own ends.

Posted by Anonymous : 4/07/2005 01:41:00 PM

Indeed it does. But if people wan tto kill representatives over the way they've voted, I doubt they'll concern themselves with such trivial details as facts when suspicion (or simly sectarian affiliation) will do perfectly well in their place.

It's a loss to democracy, with no real gain for anyone - except representatives, of course. It will be interesting to see whether the secret ballot is retained for passing legislation, or whether it is only used for electing the government...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 4/07/2005 03:02:00 PM

It's good news but............

Posted by Anonymous : 4/07/2005 03:05:00 PM

They use secret ballots..........Oh my god.....Oh my god.......

Posted by Anonymous : 4/07/2005 03:08:00 PM

7G: I don't think anyone could deny it was good news. As for secret ballots, the whole point of a secret ballot is to hide who voted for what. That should simply be unacceptable in any official vote of a representative body.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 4/07/2005 03:17:00 PM