March toward elections

UPDATE 2:

Another newly discovered Iraqi blog called “neurotic Iraqi Wife”. This is a wife of a man who works in the Green Zone. And she has posted responses from her husband to questions pertaining to the upcoming elections.

UPDATE 1:

Adding to my Iraqi blogs on the side… I read this in one of them today… posted on the 6th of January on “Diary from Baghdad“.

But still things are getting worse and I still dont think that the elections will make any difference if they were held in time, and I still want the election to be postponed till the government could handle the situation in Baghdad and Mosul. Mosul is the second largest city in Iraq and they cant neglected it in the elections. I asked all my family, relatives, friends if they will vote in the coming elections. all their answers were they wished very much but with these situation they could not. one of my relatives said he is not only afraid from bombing the centers of elections but he is afraid if someone sees him and knows his name or other information, he might hurt him or his family later on. The terrorists are threatening any person who will vote, that he might get killed.
So is it getting from BAD to WORSE or not?

I wish someone could answer him…

As elections draw nearer in Iraq, there are some not-so-encouraging signals coming out of that country.

First, Juan Cole (of Informed Comment) sites the AP as saying:

AP also reports that ‘ The entire 13-member electoral commission in Anbar province resigned after being threatened by insurgents, a regional newspaper reported. Saad Abdul-Aziz Rawi, the head of the commission, told the newspaper that it was “impossible to hold elections” in the Sunni-dominated province, where insurgent attacks have prevented voter registration. ‘

I haven’t yet found a source that can repeat that AP report… I’ll work on getting that but suffice to say that if the entire electoral commission of one province in Iraq has resigned, how can legitimate elections take place?

I don’t know if there will be an effort to “pick up the slack” by others… I don’t know if this means polling stations simply won’t appear. But what is clear is that the insurgent/terrorist activity is having a grave effect on the possibility of real, legitimate elections.

Remember also that Anbar province is a predominantly Sunni area. So by having less than decent electoral process in that province, or worse, no elections at all… then you are potentially shutting out a very significant ethnic group from the Iraqi political process.

To those who might say it doesn’t matter whether one province, or city in Iraq is left out of the elections…

Lets say that if for whatever absolutely inconceivable reason, the entire state of Florida, can’t vote for President of the United States… or maybe just the city of Miami. You know, not the biggest or most influential state or city in the world… but one that comprises a significant demographic in the country and a city that includes a very diverse ethnic portfolio.

How would that go over with the electorate, and media and government not only in that state and city but throughout the US?

Would you consider the elections legitimate anyway simply because a “majority of Americans” voted?

With that sort of logic a simple Gartner Group survey of 1000 people in America would suffice to decide who’s the next president.

Maybe that Do-Not-Call list isn’t such a great idea afterall… and maybe Iraq isn’t ready for elections, or even more needs to be done to ensure that elections officials can do their job in some form of security.

5 thoughts on “March toward elections”

  1. Wait for elections at your peril, Chris. The longer the wait the worse the terrorism will be. You project at awful dim picture based on imperfect knowledge of the situation, notwithstanding the gloomy prognostications from Juan Cole. Pospostponing elections will only serve to encourage and energize the people who for no rational reason except their own selfish greed to control the country for themselves through terrorist fear.

    The elections will take place as planned. That is a certainty. All else is mere speculation.

  2. I have little doubt now that the elections will take place…

    the question remains though, if one province, or city is excluded from those elections… or the Sunnis boycott as is threatened, are those elections legitimate?

  3. I’ve read that there will be ample representation of Sunnis in the new government and the group that writes the constitution. It’s definitely not going to a smooth or easy process due to the fanatics who only want to turn Iraq back to the days of Saddam but Iraq will change and it will be a better place to live in time than it was under the father and sons from hell and that it is now with occupying forces fighting Islamicfascists to the death every day and Iraqi civilians, police and NG dying daily.

    Will there be problems after the election if the Sunnis don’t vote? Of course. How will it all end? We’ll just to have try to deal with problems as they manifest themselves. I suspect that many Iraqis are already developing plans to deal politically with obstacles to stable government. It will take time and it might fail or it might turn out very good. All we can do is guess. No matter how much Juan Cole thinks he is the best judge of this situation, he is just one so-called-expert and he has a very strong bias against his own country in this matter. So I can’t worry too much about his educated guess regarding the election.

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