iraqis turn out vote in large numbers

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #1
    link

    i found this pretty heartening. the next steps will indeed be interesting.
     
  2. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #2
    yeah, I read about the beginning of the Election day last night before bed, and although turnout was pretty good in the Kurdish North and Shia South, many Baghdad/Sunni Triangle area polling stations were empty. So I had my reservations. This is good news.

    I may not agree with the policies that brought us to this point, but I have no interest in things going even worse for the average Iraqi to prove a political point.

    I shall keep tabs, whatever the ultimate practical significance of this election, god bless those Iraqis for embracing the process in the face of uncertain violence.
     
  3. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #3
    Damn, you beat me to posting this topic by fifteen minutes.

    Well, I've got nothing else to add (I'm heartened too), but I do wonder: when this 275-member national assembly is convened to write the country's constitution and elect a president, how will they be protected? What's to prevent the insurgents from launching a rocket right into wherever they are meeting, killing many newly-elected Iraqi officials with one strike?

    Anyway, it's good to see that things are going well so far.
     
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #4
    I completely agree.


    Slight thread fork...

    How many Americans do you think would turn out to vote under similar conditions?

    Granted the last election brought out the biggest turn out in decades, but overall I'm still saddend by the complacincy<sp?> and laziness that exists in America in regards to voting. Iraq's suffered thru months of intense violence and still turned out to vote while many Americans can't be bothered to spend a few minutes filling out a reg card and going to the polls.

    Seeing interviews w/Iraqs (both in and out of ths US) so over-joyed about being able to vote in the election got me thinking abou this.

    /Thread fork


    Lethal
     
  5. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #5
    lethal -- i feel we take our democracy for granted. further, i think this will be our undoing.
     
  6. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #6
    Lethal, your post got me to thinking about Americans under similar circumstances as the Iraqis. Unfortunately, there is no real comparative period, as the first Elections in the newly formed US have no information on voter turnout and as far as Presidential Elections went, the electoral votes were doled out by the legislatures, not the people's votes.

    I did notice that between 1840-1900, the US enjoyed the highest voter turnout ever, always above 70%, often above 85% (this was, of course limited to males, and only white males in the South).

    This was, of course, the period up to, during, and after the Civil War, so people did have a vested interest in politics. There used to be quite alot of fanfare and party-propaganda thrown around. The Republican Party formed during this period. It is curious how different the GOP and Democrats are now, as the GOP began with calls for bigger government to help the economy and also for the freedom of blacks, while the Democrats supported smaller government and state's rights, which caused them to side with the South on the slavery issue.

    In any case, during that period, the parties were for the most part identical on platform issues, and voter party loyalty was nevertheless high. The real differences were in constituencies, with the GOP having the evangelical protestant base, and the Democrats having the Roman Catholic, Methodist and other non-evangelical Christians as theirs, due largely to their belief that government should not regulate individual behavior and religious belief. They also had the support of the South, due to state's rights issues, both before the CW, and during reconstruction.

    I suppose some parallels could be drawn between this period, and the partisanship based on religious affiliation, and Iraq today.

    It should be noted, that despite relative apathy by today's voters (US), in the early 1800's, voter turnout was abyssmal, with only 26% of voter turnout for the 1824 Election, and in 1820, when Adams ran virtually unopposed and voter turnout was around 1%. So, I have little doubt that when more and more issues become deeply personal to individual voters, turnout will once again increase.
     
  7. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #7
    This is a good sign that people are interested in their country. I had my doubts about the Iraqi people. This is good news I saw 57% earlier so this is great. Its up to the Iraqi's to chart their future. As much as i cant stand George these days he is giving this country something it did not have before. Now can a true democracy take shape or will another Saddam come and remove the peoples voice. Sort of like Putin in Russia? Soon any sign of democracy will be gone in that country and its back to the same old scheme of tyrants wanting to control everyone's voice. I wonder.
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #8
    Good questions. The Sunni population will be underrepresented in the new national assembly, which is bound to lead to deeper resentment. What happens in response to the lopsided power arrangement will depend on the wisdom of the new government, such as it is. In a country without a tradition of democracy and pluralism, it's difficult to be overly optimistic.
     
  9. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #9


    I think this is only the beginning of a new problem.
     
  10. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #10
    Just had to be a wet blanket, didn't we?

    problem or not, shias probably deserve power commensurate with their numbers, regardless of the instability it might cause.

    right?
     
  11. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #11
    I agree. But I foresee civil war.
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #12
    In effect, one is going on now. Possibly the only relevant question at this point is who will win and what happens to the losers.
     
  13. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #13
    *****Could be, but as the article itself implies, we're moving into uncharted territory here. A lot depends on how the inevitable Shia majority treats the Sunnis (and the Kurds as well). If things go badly, then yes, you could see a civil war, possibly also involving neighboring countries with Sunni majorities.

    OTOH, countries like Saudi Arabia have been slowly -- verrrrrrry slowly -- inching towards western-style reforms of their own. It's possible this thing could swing Bush's way, and actually act as a catalyst to inspire changes to come faster.

    One thing's for sure: somebody's going to be pissed off. The one commodity that flows even more abundantly than oil in that part of the world is testosterone. And while I think it's wise to watch out for the consequences that that article describes, I think it's too early to worry about anything in particular yet. Let's see how things go. Osama f---ing bin Laden can make "rulings" all he wants, but ultimately the people will decide which way they want to go.

    (Oh, and sorry...I just couldn't resist the little asterisks. ;) )
     
  14. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #14
    They will return to the United States, eventually.

    sort of kidding...
     
  15. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #15
    Where did the 10% voter turn out figure come from on this mornings news then?
     
  16. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    #16
    i'll further spread the wet blanket:

    as much as i think the voter turn-out is impressive( chip, i believe the 10% figure was for iraqi's voting in the u.s.), there's going to be a large part of the population that will feel unrepresented. also, after the vote is tallied the electricity still won't work, water will still not flow and death and destruction will still permeate the landscape. the continuing hellish conditions will undermine whatever success democracy may represent.

    i believe the military term for iraq is FUBAR.
     
  17. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #17
    The turnout is based on 14 million eligible voters. I guess that sounds about right. 12 million are under 18? (or ineligible for some reason).
     
  18. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #18
    Give us a better candidate (or 2), and we will vote more.

    I am hoping things turn out well there.

    I don't believe the ends justify the means, but contrary to popular belief just because we don't support the way this war was waged, it doesn't mean we don't hope things turn out well in the long run. I hope they can vote, and we can get out as soon as possible before this gets worse, even if people start calling it a win for this administration. I just can't help feeling that this would have been a moot point if they had been smarter about this. Many of us had doubts about what Clinton did in Bosnia and Kosovo, but since things went so smoothly there, there wasn't much time to bother protesting.

    I'm just afraid this is all going to turn out bad for us somehow. Well, worse since it's already gotten so bad. I just don't understand why we didn't finish up in Afganistan first. A win there would have made it easier to justify Iraq.

    Guess the 'stans didn't have enough oil.
     
  19. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #19
    I'm wondering if perhaps we could do an exchange programme with the winner of the Iraqi election.

    We'll take Iraq's guy for a year and Iraq can have ours for four.
     
  20. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #20
    38 year old news, but relevant nonetheless...
     
  21. jadam macrumors 6502a

    jadam

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    #21
    We were just talking about this in my politics class today. But as far as representation for the sunnis is concerned, in order for the constitution not to be ratified, a minimum number of 3 provinces(or was it 2?) would have to not sign on it. Since this is the case, the constitution can not be passed unless it pleases the sunnis, the kurds, and the shias.
     
  22. diamond geezer macrumors regular

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    #22
    Just a Blog, but

    Still, it's illegal not to vote in Aussie
     
  23. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #23
    if this food subsidy thing is true, then i retract my "heartening" comment.
     
  24. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #24
    zim, I don't doubt there was some of this sort of thing. I doubt it was widespread. Certainly it wasn't any US doing, given the number of newsies running around hunting stories. I can see some Iraqi in a position of authority of some sort thinking, "They want people to vote? I know how to get them to vote!"

    I guess it's one of those "Can't have it both ways." deals: There has been a lot of negative commentary coming out of Iraq during this last year. Okay, fine. But, so far, the "man in the street" interviews by some of these same newsies show happiness about the election. I don't think these newspeople were lying in the past and telling the truth now; nor do I believe they were telling the truth in the past and lying, now.

    'Rat
     
  25. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #25
    everything i've read and seen about reporting in iraq paints a picture of journalists holed up in their hotels, relying on military reports and hearsay to do their reporting. when the journalists do venture out, they're embedded and what they see and where they go is tightly controlled.

    i fear mr. cheney has gotten his wish wrt reporters in a war zone -- at first glance, they appear to have a lot of latitude, but in reality, what they report is what the pentagon wants them to report.

    consider an exception, like seymour hersh. how seriously is he taken and what sort of nod does he get from the larger news outlets?
     

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