Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Checking the Vote

Officials are checking unusually high vote tallies in some districts within Iraq from the plebiscite on the national constitution, the Associated Press reports.

While democracy-haters here and abroad will use this to label the whole election a sham, some things for the rational to consider:

-- That some irregularities may have occured is not unusual in any election, particularly in a country so new to democracy, where stuffing the ballotbox was formerly the national pastime;

-- The fact that anyone is even examing the results is progress in a country like Iraq -- actual checks and balances, as opposed to the openly fixed "elections" conducted by Saddam;

-- Those in favor had little to gain from cheating, since the polls showed that the constitution would pass overwhelmlingly anyway -- Kurds and Shiites, who make up 80 percent of the popultion, favor the constitution by a large margin:

-- On the other hand, Sunni factions opposed to the constitution have everything to gain from crying "foul" and trying to spoil the election.

We'll see where this goes, but I doubt the results will be overturned.

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