Friday, October 08, 2004

Getting it off my chest , finally

Elections looming here, here and here. Oh and perhaps in Iraq, "three quarters or four fifths".

Which reminds me, 75 to 80% elections are not acceptable. In western democracies elections are won and lost in the marginal seats, comprising at most about 33% of the vote (suddenly a proposed 20 to 25% non-voting portion of Iraq looks very signifigant).

Holding elections in only 75 to 80% of a country makes a mockery of a system once based on the freedom to demonstrate. A 75 to 80% election in Iraq now will only serve in the event of future, full, elections to turn at least 20 to 25% against US/foreign interests forever. A 20 to 25% block of voters is a big deal when poll results in democratic countries illustrate elections hanging in the balance of percentages nearer 5 to 7.

A government that is "elected" by a popluation who are only entitled 75 to 80% shares in freedom is going to continue, strings attached, struggling against perceptions of puppetry. 75 to 80% elections are a weak and short sighted attempt to shore up support not within Iraq and middle eastern populations but amoung the citizens of western administrations. "Partial" elections in Iraq are little more then an attempt by western governments to justify to western/westernised citizens the use of violence/warfare in resolving conflict despite rapidly evaporating evidence to the contrary. For the war in Iraq, sadly, was sold to a western audience on the premise that Saddam harboured weapons of mass destruction and was thus a threat, not to his own people but to foreign interests. "Democracy" only became a secondary motive when it became apparent that liberation in some qaurters was not rolling over waiting for it's belly to be tickled.

Well and good, i am all for democracy (mindfull of my own countries unraveling democratic institutions) but i am not for some halfhearted boobytrapped makebelieve mockery of freedom. If Allawi supports Rumsfeld's proposal for 75 to 80% elections he is either one, or both, of two things. One, a fool and or two another tinpot dictator in the making. Pray tell, since when did "prime ministers" allow their people's political structures be dictated by adminstrations with more firepower? Or is this neo-mokeracy the new political avant garde? Why, only months ago George Bush was telling my own country which leader we ought to be electing.

Is it enough to make one make one take ones own head in despair? Get thee to a polling booth. I am voting tomorrow here.

Seems to have been a spate of publishing recently, scroll down for more.


#10/08/2004 02:56:00 am Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

.......oh, Em. I'm so dissipointed in you. You are such a bright girl. I know very well that you can see further down the road than this first election without being so pessimistic. Give the people of Iraq some credit, dear. Have faith in them. This is the middle east's birth of the first legitimate Gov in comtemporary times. Sure it's ugly and painful..but, it is birth, dear. Nurture it and let it grow. Give it hope.....don't let disdain for the US destroy what so many people of Iraq have given their lives for. Have a wider view, Em......

#10/08/2004 03:23:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre


As any mother or midwife will testify, a birth is 100%. 75 to 80% dilation does not fasciliate the emergence of anything bar perhaps an arm or a leg and breechbirths have the highest casualty rates. Any conscientious party in the delivery room would be barracking for 100% and no less.

#10/08/2004 03:26:00 am Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

..Em, democracy was the first motive. To moderate the middle east is the pinnacle of the neocon theory. WMD and preemption was nothing more than the excuse.

#10/08/2004 03:29:00 am Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

Agreed, Em......however, 100% just will not happen at this time. Please give it some faith..and a little more patience... If only for those who gave their lives in pursuit of what you have... More time, please.

#10/08/2004 04:08:00 am Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

...deciduous to you, by the way.


#10/08/2004 04:58:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Fayrouz


Explain this to me because I couldn't find the answer online. I know John Howard has been giving child support money lately. 800/child or something like that.

Is he giving the money to people on social security benefits or to all parents whether were employed or unemployed?

#10/08/2004 06:07:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger BG

America too, in one point in its history, held an election that represented less than 2/3rds of its population. On that occasion, Abraham Lincoln spoke these words...


We can not have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us. The strife of the election is but human-nature practically applied to the facts of the case. What has occurred in this case, must ever recur in similar cases. Human-nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak, and as strong; as silly and as wise; as bad and good. Let us, therefore, study the incidents of this, as philosophy to learn wisdom from, and none of them as wrongs to be revenged.

But the election, along with its incidental, and undesirable strife, has done good too. It has demonstrated that a people's government can sustain a national election, in the midst of a great civil war. Until now it has not been known to the world that this was a possibility....


Without a doubt, the best course is to have the elections represent 100% of the population. But as Mr. Lincoln said, if in their rebellion, the enemies of democracy can stop the process that defines a democracy (the election), then the enemy has already won.

#10/08/2004 07:16:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Mister Ghost

Fine, if you can't have a 100 percent dilation, then you perform a C Section. The child still gets born. The election should take place too, despite whatever
beliefs the conspiracy-riddled Arabic masses hold
about its outcome. A quasi-Democracy in the Mid-East is a good start. After all, we're talking about groups of people, as exhibited today in
Gaza and Cairo, who celebrated the bombing of the hotel with the Israeli tourists.

#10/08/2004 01:06:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

Fayrouz (hi!)

The coalition government did issue a family payment of $600 earlier this year. Described in the treasurer's budget speech thus; "a $600 increase in the level of payment per child under the Family Tax Benefit Part A".

The payment was criticised at the time for several reasons. Critics saw it as a vote buying excercise. Some opposition members pointed out that some families who would receive the $600 also owed the government debts of $1000 but that these families would not be notified of their debts until after elections.

Others were concerned that one-off payments failed to address long term financial issues for families, for example maternity leave legislation, and felt that the total sum of all payments could have been better used upgrading hospitals and public transport.

To give you an idea of how much $600 is worth in Australia today, the average Australian wage in the three months to May 2004 was $949 and 70 cents per week (according to the ABS). In the 12 months to June 1999 the average Australian household spent $699 on goods and services (sorry, an old stat but it was the most recent on expenditure i could find without giving this cranky old pc a heartattack downloading pdf's).

The Australian government was also criticised at the time for inefficiency, as the hastily implemented payments were accidentally paid twice. Initially overpaid recipients were told they could keep the overpayment, later they were "encouraged" to pay it back. (Click here for weblogger coverage at the time).

#10/08/2004 01:10:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

Mister Ghost

"Caesarian"? Oh really, that is quite beyond the pale. 75 to 80% is little more then phantom pregnancy. Boys, remember, if you're going to try couching the debate in gynaecological terms you'd better prepare for castration.

#10/08/2004 01:28:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre


Amendment. That was supposed to be "In the 12 months to June 1999 the average Australian household spent $699 per week on goods and services".

#10/08/2004 05:49:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger Mister Ghost

Well couch these terms, Emigre,
70 - 80 percent of Iraq involved in a free election is
70 - 80 percent more electoral freedom than was allowed under Saddam. And that's a good start.

#10/08/2004 08:35:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger Fayrouz

Hi Emigre',

Thank you for the answer. Now, I have a better idea regarding this subject. I know a few people who were paid twice.

I know everything became more expensive after introducing the GST. That's when my bank account started to drain :-(

#10/08/2004 11:08:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

i hope this is not the U.S. Patriot Act exercised abroad:

but if it is, i would make a strong guess that we all should have the opportunity to also vote for the U.S. politicians, since it would mean that borders have yet fainted, while we were trying to understand the new walls under construction ...

#10/08/2004 11:55:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

..Put away the knife, need for violence.

We agree on the need for full involvement in the democratic process. However, current conditions simply will not allow it. Long lines of innocent voters would be fodder for the terrorist cannon.

Sistani has been put off before. He has stated that he "prefer" this not happen again. Even Muqty the Thug seems to be getting inline with the democratic process. We "the world" do not want Shia unrest. We've seen nothing compared to what could happen.

It's a good time to sample the process. To make an honest attempt. Yes there is the Western comsumption issue...but only the most jaded could think this would be the sole reason to continue. the Ghost said. This little bit of election has got to be 1000 times better than the King of the Hill game previously played. gosh, any election at all, with some kind of fairness and transparency gives Iraq the most legitimate Gov in the region. Barring Turkey, of course. How great for the people of Iraq...don't you think?

-c-.... where in the world was the UK gov..... That is the oddest thing. The UK gov does not mind at all if the the FBI snoops around in British affairs....very, very strange.


#10/09/2004 09:30:00 am Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

If you can get 65% to actually vote, you will be doing even better than America, which is around 40-50% or so. So yes, you guys are actually doing great to have a chance at voting with 80% of the population. Mind, it may not be as good as you'd like, but I don't think you'd want voting in places like Falujah, where the votes would probably be coerced by Al Sadr.

This way, the majority of Iraqis can choose a strong leader to guide them, so next time they can safely vote with 90-100%. Otherwise, you would continue with a leader than was not sanctioned by the Iraqi people, and that wouldn't lend as much credit to him as if he was elected.

#10/09/2004 03:17:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

oh look, who are we kidding. as the saying goes "it doesn't matter who you vote for, the government still gets in".

democracy as we know it now, is a sham.

#10/09/2004 03:24:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

or as the man in the grocery store said today "it doesn't matter who gets in, when i wake up tomorrow i still have a mortgage to pay".

#10/09/2004 03:27:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

i'm not really as bitter as that might sound. the world keeps revolving and this century isn't over yet.

#10/09/2004 04:37:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

...tough day, huh!

It's a Wonderful Life, Em.....look around you, take note of what democracy has brought you...the world.. do not leave out hope for the future as well. And without it.....where would we all be?


#10/09/2004 05:23:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger Jeffrey


Democracy around the world is by no means a sham. To say so suggests that you have no idea what the alternatives are. Representative democracies have more than tripled since the beginning of the last century and they make elected officials more responsive to its citizens (because these officials want to be elected again, of course).

You wouldn't happen to be a utopian, would you? There is no one perfect system of governance. Representative democracy is the best one for ensuring accountability.

Hey, just saw that Howard won big time.

Excellent. Australians have made their choice very clear.

A big THANK YOU goes from this American to the Australians for always being a great ally of the US!


#10/09/2004 06:33:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger Alvaro Frota

Elections under the boots of the Usans (two diferent people: Usans are the Saddamist Americans and the Iraq occupiers) will only produce just more one puppet government. No more, no less.

Wonder US military will allow "democratic" elections? Anyone here blieves in Santa Claus and Halloween?

First Challaby's Cant Provide Anything. Next, Allawi, with his bad movie "Saddan II - The Revenge". After elections under the boots of the Usans, what kind of Government will grow?

Democracy is indeed a good word, but incompatibly wiht daily F-16 attacks against people who are supporting with this lives the Iraqi Resistance. These people will vote for who? Ah! They will not vote after all...

USA is constructing 14 huges military bases in Iraq. With another puppet government and in the presence American military, oil will be no more state property of Iraqi People. The Iraqi oil only will enrich the richest people like Dick Cheney.

USA imperialism pretends to stay in Iraq in order to be fortified and, them, to attack Iran. In that case, what the puppets will do? Another Iraq x Iran war?

Iraqi people have the right to choose how they will stablish ther Government and their State. This must be a matter of discution in every Mosque, in every class association, in every town, in every neighbourhood. But, under USA occuppation, will be that possible?

The agression against Iraq was based in two well knowing lies: There was no WMD, nor the capability to do so. There was no links with Saddan and AlQaeda. It was a illegal war, under the perspective of UN. The Iraqi Freedons Fighter has the legal right, under international law, and also has the national duty, to expel the agressors.

If Iraqi people want to end the hell they are living in, the first task is to liberate the country. Then, under some provisional Government WITH the Iraqi Resistance too, security will be placed on the nation and Iraqi people will discuss and vote the kind of State they will prefer.

Last, but not the list, a message to the Usans that comes to this blog: You really think your own elections are democratic? My ass they are democratic. Even in Brazil people have more democracy than in USA.

It is my oppinion about elections in Iraq. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Aquele abraço

Alvaro Frota

#10/09/2004 06:51:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

......Quick....somebody shut the door. He's escaped again...

........he he he....... The worlds all "shit" eh, Alvaro. And it's all cuz of that hyper power the US, huh! Darn those people anyway....just what good has come out of that country?


#10/10/2004 08:05:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Phil Wolff

Is it better to poorly start a good thing? Or not even try?

If you accept that the process is less than perfect, what is "good enough"? What are the minimal conditions for the result to pave the way for future elections, for better elections?

I'm reading a lot of frustration with the electoral process on the Iraqi blogs. I'm not seeing much political activism, organizing, or talk about gaming the new system. Why?

#10/10/2004 12:39:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger Alvaro Frota

Sorry? Or guilty?

Messrs Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell and Blair, how do you plead to the charge that you attacked Iraq illegally, outside the auspices of the UNO, and without any casus belli?


Messrs Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell and Blair, how do you plead to the charge that you are responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent civilians in the said attack?


Messrs Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell and Blair, how do you plead to the charge that you are responsible for the wounding and occasioning of grievous bodily harm either with intent or through criminal negligence, to tens of thousands of innocent civilians?


Messrs Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell and Blair, how do you plead to the charge that you purposefully targeted civilian structures in Iraq with military hardware?


Messrs Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell and Blair, how do you plead to the charge that you based your actions on a tissue of lies from beginning to end, that you knew fully well what you were doing, that you jumped the gun because you had wrongly started a military build-up on Iraq's borders based upon false assumptions and did not have the decency to admit that you were wrong?


Sorry is not good enough. In all countries, common criminals who are found guilty, even those who admit to their guilt, have to stand before a court of law and face the consequences of their actions.

A vote for the regimes of Bush and Blair is a vote for the rule by the mob over the rule of law. In short, it is a vote for international terrorism, a vote for the continuation of terrorist acts such as those carried out by US and British military forces against civilians. Terrorists and war criminals must be tried, judged and if found guilty, punished. Why should this clique of elitists be treated any differently?

#10/10/2004 01:54:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

Mr Wolff

Good points.

You ask what is "good enough"? As i said, my own personal (not being Iraqi) minimal requirement is that a system purporting to be democratic provides the opportunity for all people of voteable age to participate 100%.

You mention I'm not seeing much political activism, organizing, or talk about gaming the new system. Why? I can only observe that weblogging is a relatively new phenomena, webloggers do not adhere (refreshingly, thank goodness) to traditional forms of "political activism" but are instead at various stages of developing personal ideas and exploring ways to write/articulate/argue/entertain themselves. Interestingly some Iraqi webloggers have formed a political party. However, there are many other forms of political expression. If you look for it you will find it.


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