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Trevor Stone's Journal
Those who can, do. The rest hyperlink.
Survey Says... 
30th-Jan-2005 11:24 pm
carmen sandiego
Turnouts around 75% are being reported for areas of Iraq outside Sunni and violence-dominated cities. For reference, only Alaska, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Wisconsin had more than 70% turnout among eligible voters in 2004. On the other hand, one person also reported 300 out of 400,000 in Ramadi -- less than 0.1% turnout.

This is clearly a big psychological victory. While conditions won't be that much better tomorrow, millions of people have participated in a ritual sending the message that things will get better. They have given their shout of support and of legitimacy to the participatory process.

But imagine if the U.S. was in a shambles, and after a year of marshal law an election was scraped together. From Maine to Minnesota to Alaska, voters turned out in great numbers, but the showing in the Southern states was in the single digits. It would be a long time until the country was stable. There's a long way yet to go, but the road is promising.

Incidentally, the Iraqis are perfectly happy to wait for a few weeks before they find out who's been elected. We could be so humble.
31st-Jan-2005 05:11 pm (UTC)
I find it disconcerting that people keep trying to compare Iraq voter turnout to U.S. voter turnout. Such a comparison belays the dangerously wrong assumption that the two countries are in any way similar in their political situation. The reason people aren't voting in the U.S. is because they're too comfortable and lazy to care about politics. I sincerely doubt anyone not voting in Iraq is doing it because they're too comfortable and lazy to care. I have a feeling a good number of them are not voting because they are afraid for their lives. I don't see the value in a comparison here.
31st-Jan-2005 05:59 pm (UTC) - Apples to Oranges?
Really the only reason to campare Iraq to US is to show how it scales up to something we are more familiar with. IE: If you can imagine how bad things would have to be in the US for several states to be afraid to go to the polls, you can get a handle on how serious things still are in Iraq...
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