And They're Off!
January 27, 2005 8:11 PM   Subscribe

Get to votin'. In Sydney, the first votes were cast in the Iraqi elections, 48 hours before it starts in Iraq itself. I went down to the nearest polling booth to get a feel for the turnout. It's being organised by the best in the business, but will it make a difference if nobody comes to the party?
posted by cosmonik (15 comments total)
Iraq Out-of-Country Voting Program: 280,303 expatriates are registered to vote in this election, over a fifth of them in Iran.
posted by aaronetc at 8:37 PM on January 27, 2005

The registration period went well, but there's been some concern voiced when it comes to actually showing up and voting

Some interesting doubts voiced by Canberran Iraqis here. I've also heard some people say it's not so much a matter of fear, as leaving Iraq behind them and moving on with their life.
posted by cosmonik at 9:09 PM on January 27, 2005

I really don't like that Iraq "citizen", most of whom don't intend to move back to Iraq, are allowed to vote in the electiohn. Also, this whole voting thing shouldn't be happening now; maybe in half a year, but it is way too dangerous now.
posted by Kempt at 9:18 PM on January 27, 2005

As much as I'd like to see this administration fall on their collective faces in feces, I really hope that some good can come out of Iraq, and elections are a good start.

But I am skeptical about all the ex-pats.

I thought this was supposed to be for IRAQ? It should be done with in state Iraqis.

I have this dogging feeling that there will be more votes by ex-pats than in Iraq itself. and those two groups will have differing tendencies.
What happens when the majority voice in shaping their country is continually kept from the people living there?

But it's 4 days away, and I still don't know who's running, what the parties are, or their platforms.

All this has the stink of an old fashioned Texas Administration Hornswaggling to me..
posted by Balisong at 9:41 PM on January 27, 2005

Put your seatbelts on kids, we're in for a rough effing ride here. We already know that this Iraq Liberation thing was not a good idea. Now watch the body count rise during the course of the elections.

If it doesn't happen, thus screwing my prediction, then GOOD! But I really don't see anything good happening anytime soon.

Essentially, could the U.S. possibly lose any more credibility?

Nah! (yea, I'm sick to my stomach already.)
posted by snsranch at 9:45 PM on January 27, 2005

Balisong - a lot of the representatives of minority groups (Shi'ites, Kurds) have fled Iraq, either because of the tyranny of Saddam or the American invasion, so I think including expats is a good idea. As aaronetc said, over a fifth of o/s registered voters are in neighbouring Iran.

The odds of it being truly representative are not good, let's face it, and just like every other election, it makes me question the legitimacy (& feasability) of democracy, but to paraphrase Winston Churchill 'democracy is absolutely the worst political system, except for all the others'.

So, fingers crossed.
posted by cosmonik at 10:10 PM on January 27, 2005

I don't suppose they can vote for George Bush...

Or Saddam Hussein...

/joking!! just joking!!
posted by Balisong at 10:28 PM on January 27, 2005

i think there could be a problem here. those who were in iraq throughout saddam's rule may begin to feel resentment against exiles and expats who were outside the country - and sometimes doing very well, having a vote.

i can see why an iraqi would vote, but i'm less clear about why someone who has lived in another country for thirty years, paid no taxes, and isn't exactly rushing back to the motherland, should have a vote.
posted by quarsan at 10:54 PM on January 27, 2005


A US expat who lives and pays taxes in a land other than the US for years (even decades) is still eligible to vote in US elections, as long as he maintains US citizenship. Why should this differ for Iraqi expats?

I also think that when the security situation in Iraq approves (and pigs fly, and chicken grow teeth1), more in-country Iraqis will participate in elections, thus diluting the effects of the expat vote.
posted by syzygy at 3:29 AM on January 28, 2005

To me, this is a shill...when a large portion of a country cant vote because, well, you are threatened to be blown up/shot (seriously hurt one way or another), that is not a 'fair' vote...not that our own elections were fair at that...nor will it represent the will of the people (how much power does an elected official hold when a larger military force is controlling your country's every move? the same ones running your election? exactly how many lightbulbs will a mandate power? )
Seems like gw's way of getting ready to roll into Iran...
"See, uhm, err, we had votes in Afghanistan and Iraq, we need to uhh control all the oil bring democrat[sic] to Iran."
it all is so familiar we've seen it happen not too long long will the rest of the world tolerate such thinly veiled Corporate Colonialism Galactic Republic New Imperialism Neocolonialism Sprawling Theocracy Patriot-ism?
posted by gren at 6:18 AM on January 28, 2005

A US expat who lives and pays taxes in a land other than the US for years (even decades) is still eligible to vote in US elections, as long as he maintains US citizenship. Why should this differ for Iraqi expats?

Because Iraq isn't the US?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:33 AM on January 28, 2005

odinsdream and Armitage Shanks, I still don't see the objection here. Everyone here (myself included) would have totally freaked out if Americans living (permanently or not) abroad were denied the vote this past November. Seriously. I don't see what that has to do with the candidate pool or the (ridiculously poor) state of Iraqi infrastructure. If this is the wrong time for elections (and it may be), say that, but I don't see that that has any relevence to whether or not Iraqi expats should be allowed to vote. Maybe they shouldn't, but unless you're very explicit and direct about why, then accept that the same logic would apply to Americans abroad in 2004.
posted by rustcellar at 2:15 PM on January 28, 2005

If this is the wrong time for elections (and it may be), say that, but I don't see that that has any relevence to whether or not Iraqi expats should be allowed to vote.

That's not my point. Why assume that because the US does it one way, that Iraq should too? I think it's telling that people would just assume that the Iraq model will be a carbon copy of the US one.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:55 PM on January 28, 2005

i saw the same sort of thing in eritrea after their 30 year war with ethiopia. the expats and exiles flooded back and became resented by those who had stayed in the country to fight. the expats, generally speaking were much wealthier and managed to aquire disproportinate influence.
posted by quarsan at 12:41 AM on January 29, 2005

Is anyone still reading down here? Voting in Iraq itself is nearly complete but I am not sure it merits its own FPP. It seems that the level of violence was less than expected. Here is hoping that the Shia after winning their inevitable majority can find it within themselves to extend a hand to the Sunnis in running the new government. I would hope that if some of the Sunni religious leaders start praising the government and criticizing the insurgents we might find peace there long enough to get our troops the hell out before the whole place erupts in a huge civil war.
posted by caddis at 5:36 AM on January 30, 2005

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