|Color me a cynic. I am under the impression that the media will make every effort to declare the January 30th Iraqi elections a failure. |
There will calls of manipulation, accusations of “disenfranchising” one religious group or another, and the belittling of a result that neglects the full participation of troubled Iraqi venues. However, I’m willing to bet that the skeptics (read: media influenced by their obvious indifference to the Bush Administration) will put most of their eggs into the “participation basket.”
It appears as if that’s already started.
The Iraqi Out of Country Voting program
got rolling today (January 17th). New York Times reporter, Alan Cowell
was in London observing the registration process. It took him until the third sentence before he stated “The numbers seemed low compared with the estimated 250,000 exiled Iraqis living in Britain
.” No numbers to back that up. It just “seemed low
.” He went on to make the same comments about registration in the Netherlands getting “off to a slow start in the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Zwolle
.” Once again, he provided no numbers or sources to back up the statement.
I find it interesting that access to the Iraq Out of Country website
was an absolute bitch all day. It refreshed at an agonizingly slow rate. I tend to think that’s a traffic issue. I should say that I’m optimistic that it is. In addition, all Out of Country registration centers
are open for the entire week.
I believe that there will be a remarkable participation by enthusiastic Iraqis. Regardless of the results, and the number of voters, it’s a good bet that this won’t happen again
. That, in itself, is a vast success.
Iraqis take first steps toward democracy as overseas registration begins
By Alan Cowell
The New York Times
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
LONDON The dawning of Iraq's democracy arrived unhurriedly on Monday - in north London at least.
Under the soaring arch of a new national sports stadium still under construction, in an exhibition hall the size of a large aircraft hangar, several hundred Iraqis living outside their country drifted in to the Wembley Conference and Exhibition Center, registering to cast an overseas ballot in the Jan. 30 election back home.
The numbers seemed low compared with the estimated 250,000 exiled Iraqis living in Britain. About 150,000 of them are eligible to vote, part of an overseas Iraqi electorate of at least one million spread mainly across 14 countries, including the United States. The exiles could have a big say in the election's outcome, potentially swinging the vote toward the southern Shiite majority.