Friday, December 16, 2005

Iraq votes

Iraqis are going to the polls today to elect a new legislature and government. No matter what you think of the war and the US occupation, this is a sign of hope. And with even the insurgants urging people to get out and vote, there's also the possibility that a solution will emerge at the ballot box rather than at gunpoint.

But while I hope for success, I expect the worst. The last election, for a temporary assembly, showed the worst of democracy: a temporary majority with a winner-take-all attitude determined to impose a solution which permenantly advantaged their factions at the expense of the Sunnis. That, more than anything else, is what has to change. And I'm not sure whether it will...


Well you can't really expect the Shiites and Kurds to have bent over backwards for the Sunnis given that they chose not to take part in the last elections, that they were Saddam's power base and are the source of most of the current violence.

But it's true that there needs to be an accomodation and in fact the Shiites and Kurds have been attempting to do this - they have not taken the winner takes all appproach you allege. If that were true then the election would not be happening.

It appears that Sunnis have decided it makes more sense to vote and be represneted this time round. So a gradual shift to a normalised democtratic process. Given the extrordinarily difficult situation between the various religious and ethnic factions it's a good omen.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/17/2005 09:49:00 AM