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Old 02-01-2005, 08:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Tens of thousands of Iraqi voters were turned away

The more we get word of what actually happened in this election, the less encouraging it looks. This sure doesn't cast them in a credible light.


Quote:
Iraq's interim president said Tuesday that tens of thousands of people may have been unable to vote in the country's historic weekend election because some polling places — including those in Sunni Arab areas — ran out of ballots.

.......

"Tens of thousands were unable to cast their votes because of the lack of ballots in Basra, Baghdad and Najaf," al-Yawer, himself a Sunni Arab, said at a news conference. Najaf is a mostly Shiite city but Basra and Baghdad have substantial Sunni populations.

Elections officials acknowledged that irregularities kept people away — including in the volatile northern and heavily Sunni city of Mosul. Security worries in Sunni areas were partly to blame for the fact that some polls did not open and ballots were too few, they said.

"The elections took place under difficult conditions and this undoubtedly deprived a number of citizens in a number of areas from voting," said Abdul-Hussein al-Hendawi, who heads the Iraqi electoral commission.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp..._re_mi_ea/iraq
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Old 02-01-2005, 08:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It doesn't necessarily sound deliberate. I think we should wait for more then four sentences of vague and non-damning text beware we start making claims that this election isn't credible.
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Old 02-01-2005, 08:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, we are talking about the comments of Iraq's PRESIDENT.
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Old 02-01-2005, 08:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The whole election was an unfair mess that took place much earlier than it should have. You can't have an election when not only do the ballots run out, but voting is a life and death ordeal.
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Old 02-01-2005, 08:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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C'mon now, could anyone reasonably assume that the election would have gone off perfectly or without a hitch? I think it went better than expected. Perfect? No, of course not, it's their first time for crying out loud.

And, it's not like us (the old pro at democracy) have an easy time with it (minus the bombings) either. We have our share of ups and downs.
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Old 02-01-2005, 08:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think your title is misleading, and great that the president said it. He didn't say anything that would lead me to believe there was any major foul play. Being unable to cast a vote is unfortuante, especially since the stakes that were involved, but it doesn't equate to suppression or intimidation or vote fraud.
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Old 02-01-2005, 09:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm with Mojo.

Let's all be honest here. Initial reports seem to imply that the election has been far more successful that many of us had hoped.

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Old 02-01-2005, 10:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Of all the things we could be complaining about right now...having polling places run out of ballots is one of them?
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Old 02-01-2005, 11:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
I think your title is misleading, and great that the president said it...

Absolutely. The fact that the President was drawing attention to it with his comments lends credibility. If there was intentional foul play, the leadership that oversaw the election wouldn't be turning the spotlight on it. I think that it was extremely smooth for the first election in a brand new democracy. I just wish that those who want to tear down the Bush administration would quit trying so hard to find fault in EVERYTHING and take a step back to appreciate the fact that the US has given the Iraqi people something truly great and historic. How easily we seem to forget the true value of the freedoms that we enjoy everyday.
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Old 02-01-2005, 11:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
I think your title is misleading, and great that the president said it. He didn't say anything that would lead me to believe there was any major foul play. Being unable to cast a vote is unfortuante, especially since the stakes that were involved, but it doesn't equate to suppression or intimidation or vote fraud.
Like hell it's misleading. There's not one word in the thread title about foul play. Furthermore, an election which is incapable of allowing tens of thousands to cast their votes is fundamentally flawed by its very nature. There doesn't have to be intentional corruption for an election to be worthless. When the election doesn't have the ability to record the votes of tens of thousands of people, how can you POSSIBLY call that a valid election? When you've got more than 200 candidates, tens of thousands of votes can DEFINITELY give you a different outcome.

But then, you're not the only person on this thread who doesn't give a damn that Iraqis were denied their voting rights in huge numbers. Fact is, the more I talk to people about this the more I see that a lot of folks out there really don't care if an enormous number of Iraqis were robbed of their right to vote. All they care about is spinning the election for Bush's political gain.

Last edited by CShine; 02-01-2005 at 11:28 PM..
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Old 02-01-2005, 11:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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All you care about is spinning it to discredit Bush and what we are doing in Iraq, what's the difference?
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Old 02-01-2005, 11:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I care about establishing peace in Iraq so we can bring the troops home. For the record, I have never voted for any Democrat, though I have voted for a few Republicans (McCain was one). What I see is incompetence in both parties and I have no qualms about calling it out when I see it.
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Old 02-02-2005, 12:20 AM   #13 (permalink)
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it seems to me as if the bush people are just happy there was an election and if 10 people would have shown up to vote, yay....

and the rest of the people are saying that thousands not voting are enough to cause the whole endeavour to be damned...

i'm not really sure where i stand, but i will say that 1. i am glad there was an election and there was a huge (relatively) turnout with littel violence and 2. The results are horribly skewed as to be damned enough to be invalid. 10,000 votes with over 200 candidates is enough to swap everything around. let's say the Last US election didn't involve say.....15 southern states....Sure, 35 states would have voted, so that's a great thing, right....just oops, a section of the country is not allowed to vote, either deliberately or by uncontrollable circumstances....
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Old 02-02-2005, 12:44 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CShine
Like hell it's misleading. There's not one word in the thread title about foul play. Furthermore, an election which is incapable of allowing tens of thousands to cast their votes is fundamentally flawed by its very nature. There doesn't have to be intentional corruption for an election to be worthless. When the election doesn't have the ability to record the votes of tens of thousands of people, how can you POSSIBLY call that a valid election? When you've got more than 200 candidates, tens of thousands of votes can DEFINITELY give you a different outcome.

But then, you're not the only person on this thread who doesn't give a damn that Iraqis were denied their voting rights in huge numbers. Fact is, the more I talk to people about this the more I see that a lot of folks out there really don't care if an enormous number of Iraqis were robbed of their right to vote. All they care about is spinning the election for Bush's political gain.
I agree 100%. I think its much preferable to return to the previous election system, which had near 100% turnouts. Of course, there was only one candidate and those who didn't vote for him were beaten at the very least, but that's irrelevant. Why it seems obvious to me that it was Bushco's plan all along to disenfranchise Iraqi's. For shame, Bushco, for shame.
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Old 02-02-2005, 03:32 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Like everything else in this Iraq fiasco, it appears the election was also very poorly planned.
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Old 02-02-2005, 04:13 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Considering that the Iraqi Constitution will be drafted by those elected this year, this is a big problem.
This is tens of thousands of individuals who weren't able to vote for the most important election that this country will have. This, despite their absolute willingness to perform their civic duty.
This is on top of whatever number were too afraid or disenfranchised from the process (reports of about 8% sunni voting in some areas)

The constitution will be drafted without the input of these people and will be fundamentally flawed because of it. It isn't enough to say they will get involved in future election as the altering of a constitution is much harder than the initial drafting.
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:11 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I think the big question here is: why wasn't the election postponed a few months, in order to buy time to:

--make the country more secure
--use diplomacy/compromise to ensure as much participation as possible from the conflicted ethnic groups
--actually plan the details of the elections (sufficient ballots, etc.)

The advantages of doing this are clear. Those elected will have had the credibility and mandate they need to draft the constitution. Without that credibility there is an inherently unjust situation that invites ever more violence.

What are the disadvantages? The timing of the elections (give or take several months) shouldn't have any effect on the timing of U.S. withdrawal.

So, can anybody explain to me why it was absolutely necessary to have these elections last week? (I mean besides the obvious, to give Bush some glittering rhetoric just in time for his State of the Union Speech).

After all, the president of Iraq did want to postpone them, but Bush was adamant.
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:48 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Though I have to say that I am pleased with the fact that these elections achieved more than I expected, that does not mean we should sit back and relax. As some reports show intimidation, violence and a shortage of ballots did happen.

I agree that it was a good step forwards, but it was but a small step. I hope it is the first on route to a better place, but I feel most of us are easily satisfied. I feel that a lot more needs to be done before I can shout out loud that Iraq is a democracy.
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Old 02-02-2005, 08:47 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Like hell it's misleading. There's not one word in the thread title about foul play. Furthermore, an election which is incapable of allowing tens of thousands to cast their votes is fundamentally flawed by its very nature. There doesn't have to be intentional corruption for an election to be worthless. When the election doesn't have the ability to record the votes of tens of thousands of people, how can you POSSIBLY call that a valid election? When you've got more than 200 candidates, tens of thousands of votes can DEFINITELY give you a different outcome.
Quote:
i'm not really sure where i stand, but i will say that 1. i am glad there was an election and there was a huge (relatively) turnout with littel violence and 2. The results are horribly skewed as to be damned enough to be invalid. 10,000 votes with over 200 candidates is enough to swap everything around. let's say the Last US election didn't involve say.....15 southern states....Sure, 35 states would have voted, so that's a great thing, right....just oops, a section of the country is not allowed to vote, either deliberately or by uncontrollable circumstances....
Actually, Iraq isn't using an American-style "first-past-the-post" system. There are far fewer discontinuities under 'proportional representation' than under "FPTP".

There are something like 250 seats in the house being elected.

Any party who gets more than 1/250th of the popular vote (more than 0.4%) gets at least 1 seat.

Who exactly gets every one of the 250ish seats is something I don't know the details of. I suspect it will be a somewhat decent approximation to the popular vote.

With 6 million people voting, 60,000 (made up number) people not managing to vote could make a difference of about 5 seats in the 250 person house.
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Old 02-02-2005, 09:08 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I could be wrong, but I'm sure I heard an interview with an Iraqi official that stated the Sunni's would be represented even though a majority of them boycotted the election.
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Old 02-02-2005, 09:20 AM   #21 (permalink)
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We have a way of reading their mind?
No? Not yet?
Ooh well, then they can't be represented. The sunni's are individuals who have different tastes. Just picking someone to represent them doesn't work.
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:44 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Ran out of ballots, you'd think they would make enough in order for everyone to vote. I don't think it was because too many people voted, but this just weren't prepared.
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:55 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Seeing as how this wasn't reported on too much here in the US, I doubt much will be done about the Iraqi voting issues.

edit - Not having enough ballots is pure idiocy. Sure, more people turned out to vote than were expected, but how hard would it have been to make sure the number of ballots equalled the number of eligible voters? Especially considering the importance of this vote.
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Old 02-02-2005, 01:22 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rdr4evr
The whole election was an unfair mess that took place much earlier than it should have. You can't have an election when not only do the ballots run out, but voting is a life and death ordeal.
I disagree. The fact that entire neighborhoods came to the poll, defying the threats, makes this election as legit as it can get. Unfortunatley, we here in the US bitch and moan because we have to wait in line for an hour or two (gasp!) to vote. Perhaps this Iraqi election will wake some people up in this country who have taken voting for granted.
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Old 02-02-2005, 02:41 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
Perhaps this Iraqi election will wake some people up in this country who have taken voting for granted.
No it won't.
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Old 02-02-2005, 03:06 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Under the conditions in which these brave people were able to hold this election I think they did a hell of a job. We fucked up our own election in 2000 without terrorists driving car bombs and throwing grenades at us.
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Old 02-02-2005, 03:37 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
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No it won't.
Here, here! If it doesn't directly effect their every-day lives, most people honestly don't care.
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:36 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbelt
We have a way of reading their mind?
No? Not yet?
Ooh well, then they can't be represented. The sunni's are individuals who have different tastes. Just picking someone to represent them doesn't work.
Yes it does. It's called Power Sharing and is used in many places around the world to ensure representation of a minority when political compromise is desired. The United States itself uses something similar you know.

Can the guy you voted for read your mind? Nope, so he can't "represent" you any better than someone who was appointed.

It's not perfect, but it's a tried and true solution.

Now, having said all that, I'm not sure if the common concept of Power Sharing is being adopted in Iraq or not. Certainly the use of Proportional Representation is a good start though. I could never understand the use of "First Past The Post" in the UK and the US. It's patently unfair.


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Old 02-02-2005, 05:37 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I didn't realize Negroponte broght Katherine Harris with him.
Should it surprise anyone that an election with the Bush administration's fingerprints all over it would involve a certain amount of disenfranchisement?

That's all I have to say about that.
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:07 PM   #30 (permalink)
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But wait...I thought the Sunnis were largely boycotting the election? They can't have it both ways, can they? I mean hey, they're saying it's illegitimate because they boycotted it, and then saying it's illegitimate because the boycotting people didn't get to vote.
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Old 02-03-2005, 10:17 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CShine

But then, you're not the only person on this thread who doesn't give a damn that Iraqis were denied their voting rights in huge numbers. Fact is, the more I talk to people about this the more I see that a lot of folks out there really don't care if an enormous number of Iraqis were robbed of their right to vote. All they care about is spinning the election for Bush's political gain.
Where the hell were you when Saddam had them vote: Yes Saddam or No saddam? I'm sure you really gave a damn about the iraqis being robbed their right to vote then. Hypocrite.
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Old 02-03-2005, 10:24 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbelt
We have a way of reading their mind?
No? Not yet?
Ooh well, then they can't be represented. The sunni's are individuals who have different tastes. Just picking someone to represent them doesn't work.
Yeah, everyone else is to blame except for the sunnis that didn't vote. Its not their fault they didn't vote. And each one is an individual and there is no way there will be an accurate representation for the sunnis since it is so impossible to try to represent them as a group, since really they aren't a group, they're just a bunch of individuals.

Yeah. Right.
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