January 19, 2005

Iraq Election Tribulations

As the Iraq election draws nearer, the situation in Iraq is growing steadily worse. The headlines today were filled with suicide bombers who were responsible for over two dozen deaths just last night. Other stories are about people in Iraq trying to leave the country before the borders are closed for election day. And the Allawi government plans to lock down the country so that Iraqis cannot even travel outside their district. The Iraqis who show up at the polls will finally discover who is running as the candidates are afraid to go public because the threat to their lifes is so high.

So who will be voting in this election? The Shiites in the south and the Kurds in the north are expected to go to the polls. But a good number of Iraqis in the 4 most populous districts will be hard put to cast a vote either because of the violence or because they don't think this election will be fair. So they won't have much say in this election. Yet, one group that is predicted to vote in heavy numbers are the expatriots who live outside Iraq. In the United States there is almost a quarter of a million potential voters. In the US, instead of worrying about suicide bombers, the biggest problem for many voters is getting registered and then voting at one of the 5 registered polling sites located in the US which for some means long journeys across state lines. Nevertheless, it seems somewhat ironic that the people who have to live under the government that will be elected have less opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice than those who are now living far away from the country.

Posted by Mary at January 19, 2005 10:33 PM | Elections | Technorati links |

For those of us who think the whole Iraq adventure was (a) wrong, or (b) just ineptly planned and executed, the elections are the only possible decent outcome. They should get the full support of all Democrats. Why would we not want the Iraqis to elect a government? It's their country...let them run it. It seems to me that we are too hung up on having "fair" elections. Let's just have an election. The Iraqis can worry about whether it was fair after it's over. The sooner the Iraqis have a government, the sooner our troops can come home. Let's face it...Iraq is having a civil war right now. The problem is that US troops are doing the fighting for the Shia. Let's have the elections, let the Shia take control and then have Bush declare victory and leave.

Posted by: Steve at January 20, 2005 09:37 AM