Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Maybe they are getting "democracy" in Iraq

From the Guardian:

Up until now, Iraq's political parties have been able to whip up enough enthusiasm to turn every dinner conversation to politics, but not this time. After spending most of September having rows about the constitution, in the Pax household we seem to be happy to ignore politics and just do chitchat. On the street there doesn't seem to be much interest in the elections either. A note for future "democracy-advancing projects": fast-tracking democracy means you also fast-track political apathy.

The only people who are excited at the prospect of new elections are the politicians themselves. Iraq's independent electoral commission has registered more than 400 political entities, both parties and independent individuals. The number of participants is so overwhelming that the national TV station has decided to impose a strict three-minute length on all party-political broadcasts. Even so, if all 400 entities take their three minutes, it will mean 20 hours of mind-numbing electioneering.

Kinda like "democracy" in the US these days, where about 1/2 of everyone who can vote doesn't, likely because they don't want to encourage anyone. Which is why, despite all the prognostications of pollsters saying the demographics for the Dems are difficult, I still hope for democracy in the USA: people do get pissed off and put that to good use every so often.

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