I just read Abbas' post on election plans for Iraq. The system will be based on proportional representation, which encourages a system of multiple parties.
As well as political parties, special interest groups will be allowed to present lists, or candidates can run on an individual ticket. To stand for election, a candidate must file a 500-signature petition with the electoral commission.
On any list, every third name must be a woman to ensure that at least 25 percent of seats in the assembly go to women, a stipulation made in Iraq's interim constitution, agreed earlier this year.
Wow, a candidate only needs to provide a 500-signature petition with a 25% female weighting to stand for election! How many visits do the pages of bloggers in Iraq have per day? More then 500 for some, and at least 25% of those visitors would be women... granted, many of those visitors are from other countries, still, with a little will-power, it does make politics sound all of a sudden very accessible.
Can you imagine what the streets of Iraq could become in the following months? On every corner a new party with a partition...
More about it on Abbas' weblog here. You will also find some fantastic translations from Ali al-Wardi's Lamahat Ijtima'iyyah min Tarikh al-'Iraq al-Hadith (Glimpses of the Modern History of Iraq) there. His page is great brain food, best kept secret on the web, he has a lot of knowledge to share with anyone interested in reading it.