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Richard the Lionheart 02-02-2005 12:05 AM

Congratulations to the Iraqi People

I just wanted to congratulate the Iraqi people for risking their lives to turn out in huge numbers to vote in the first national election since the ousting of Saddam Hussein. As National Review's John O'Sullivan put it:

"The crude objection to it that the Arabs are either hostile to democracy, or even merely indifferent to it, has been decisively routed by the civic bravery of the Iraqi voters."

Good luck with your new free country, you have set a courageous example to the rest of the world, and even to ourselves here in America. If the Iraqi people can go out in vote in droves despite well-known deadly threats to their own safety, surely those of us fortunate to have been born and live in a free country can brave a twenty-minute line to do so!

buckeyefan78 02-02-2005 03:22 PM

Reports show that turnout was 72%, according to the White House and conservative publications. Not sure how accurate it is, but that is pretty high if true, considering Washington lowered expectations earlier in the week.

It's not so much the voter turnout Ricky, but the turnout of the government in place.

MaddEnemy 02-02-2005 03:28 PM

I worry that who ever is selected to run Iraq will be killed.

jhuerbin88 02-02-2005 04:18 PM

buckeye, I heard around 70% too...But that does seem a bit high. I also heard that turnout was a lot higher than expected, so maybe it is true.

ME, me too.

Richard the Lionheart 02-02-2005 05:36 PM

The turnout is important, buckeye. It shows that the Iraqi people accept their new freedom and democracy, and are willing to risk life and limb to exercise those new freedoms.

buckeyefan78 02-02-2005 11:14 PM

I said the turnout of how well the new government worked was more important than the turnout to vote Ricky, that's all. Considering the U.S. prides itself on being the most democratic and free nation on earth with around 52% turnout in Presidential elections, I don't see the link between high voter turnout and quality of goverment. I guess that's up to who is judging it though. Italy averages a world high ( if I'm not mistaken) 90% voter turnout and they have generally a chaotic and unstable government.

MaddEnemy 02-02-2005 11:25 PM

What also bothers me is once we are done with Iraq, who is next? I am so tired of the Iraq war it is exhausting to me if you can understand what I mean. I guess I would have to deal with another war if it was forced upon me but I hope Bush or who ever the president is takes a breather but I guess terrorist and evil never take a break and we wont as well. I really do miss the good old days, damn you Osama!

MountaineerDave 02-03-2005 04:14 PM

From what I understood el presidente to have said last night (and I didn't listen myself), Syria is potentially the next target. Sensible. It's a small country, easy to secure, I'm sure... :rolleyes:


KevinBeane 02-03-2005 04:45 PM

Buckeye, since voting is compulsory in Australia (and I assume other nations) wouldn't they have a turnout higher than 90%? You said Italy was the world highest.

jhuerbin88 02-03-2005 05:43 PM


Originally posted by MaddEnemy
but I guess terrorist and evil never take a break and we wont as well.
Yep...We can't take a break...We have to rid the world of terrorism (even though it is impossible - but the US can do its best).

buckeyefan78 02-03-2005 07:45 PM

While voting is compulsory in democratic nations like Australia, Belgium, and Luxembourg, local officials are mostly held responsible for enforcing the law. Anyway, those nations are around the 80%-90% range ( and now this by memory, so I'm not going to give an exact percentage). Italy is technically more of a true democracy than say a Luxembourg ( constitutional monarchy, but with very free elections), and comes in around a 90% clip, which is probably the highest ( if memory serves again) among somewhat democratic nations that aren't compulsory. Still, they are all comparable, but again, Italy's electoral process and government stability are nothing to write home about since the end of WWII, and even before so, but especially since.

Bottom line...high voter turnout, and to a certain extent, high voter turnout in truly free elections, don't necessarily mean a well-oiled democracy, especially in places who have traditionally not been exposed to the democratic ideals, like Iraq. Italy too has suffered from rampant corruption, even before the fascists took power over from the liberals in the early part of the 20th century. In fact, Italy had a very liberal goverment and embraced many democratic ideals throughout their history.

Even people with somewhat democratic ideals struggle with democracy when corruption has been part of their world. Iraq has had little democratic ideals with massive corruption in their culture, two bad signs.

jhuerbin88 02-03-2005 07:51 PM

Isn't there always 100% voter turnout? I mean if a person chooses not to vote, isn't that a choice? Yes/No?

Richard the Lionheart 02-04-2005 12:17 AM

All I mean is the high voter turnout indicates that the Iraqi people have a desire to participate in a free, democratic nation. I hope they're government isn't corrupt, but we'll have to wait and see.

buckeyefan78 02-04-2005 01:34 AM

COULD BE True Ricky. Just pointing out the perils though. High voter turnout in Italy hasn't resulted in a very stable government, yet people still continue to vote there. Desire is good, and the clip reported by the White House in Iraq indicates a desire on some level, but without additional factors ( again with the history of corruptness and no significant history of a democracy in Iraq), it doesn't matter how you matters what actually happens as far as stability and the degree of democracy that may emerge in Iraq.

IMO, voting has never been a good indication of the desire to participate in a free and democratic nation. Voter turnout in the U.S. is low, but "unconventional participation" ( as any good intro to political science prof would term it) in this nation is unequal to any on earth, and has often produced far better results than voting in terms of advancing democratic ideals. Marches, protests, boycotts, and sit-ins have all been great weapons of the unconventional participant in his/her struggle to change the system. Voting in the conventional system has become an obstacle to many in the quest for a democratic voice. It is also a very contrived and basic element of the democratic process, a tool of laziness, in some regards, when trying to further progress IMO. Voting for the sake of voting isn't a great democratic ideal. The founders were quite adament that great knowledge on an issue and an exchange of conflicting ideas were fundamental requirements in deciding to vote. The Iraqi's had neither. 60% of them believed they were voting for a new President just days before the election. Uneducated voting can do just as much harm as having a ruthless dictator running your nation.

Again, the true desire will come when the government begins to govern and the people react. THAT is when I feel this lovefest will end in Iraq. A nation that is neither educated on their vote, nor educated in other measures that enhance a democratic state will fail, no matter their intentions.

Shawndo 02-04-2005 01:46 AM


Originally posted by buckeyefan78
adiment that great knowledge on an issue...

buckeyefan78 02-04-2005 02:23 AM

Thanks for the spell check Shawn. Corrected for everyone's reading pleasure.

Shawndo 02-04-2005 02:27 AM

anytime, Buckeye.. I'm here for you man... :)

Tarkus 02-04-2005 12:22 PM

You 2 just kill me....:lol:

You remind me of a couple a guys I once knew....:)

(I wonder if this'll be an obscure reference....;) )

MountaineerDave 02-04-2005 07:45 PM

Looking at that picture brings that song to mind, Tarkus.

Klugman and I share college alma maters.
I think he even spoke at graduation the year after I graduated.


Shawndo 02-04-2005 08:02 PM


Originally posted by Tarkus

(I wonder if this'll be an obscure reference....;) )

got me there (?) but it does look strangely funny.... who are they?

bama4256 02-04-2005 08:11 PM

Yes God bless them.

MountaineerDave 02-04-2005 10:25 PM

The Odd Couple... Tony Randall (on the right) and Jack Klugman (on the uh... left, duh)

Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau were the movie, these two the TV show.

For some reason, I can't remember Randall's character's name, but Klugman was Oscar.


Tarkus 02-04-2005 11:06 PM

Yep, Dave...

Oscar Madison & Felix Unger......:)

jhuerbin88 02-04-2005 11:55 PM

Well, whoever they are, they don't look like Iraqis to me (Hinting towards the fact that this thread has gone of topic - a lot ;) )

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