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No fair!!!! [Feb. 2nd, 2005|01:05 pm]
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From the AP wire:

Leading Sunni Muslim clerics said Wednesday the country's landmark elections lacked legitimacy because large numbers of Sunnis did not participate in the balloting, which the religious leaders had asked them to boycott.

Dudes, here's the deal with democracy: if you don't vote, you don't get to bitch. You were invited to play in the reindeer games and chose not to. Just because you were sitting on the sidelines doesn't mean that there was anything wrong with the voting itself. It's just like the lottery: you can't win if you don't play.

Now, there may be all kinds of problems with democracy in Iraq, and you may have reasons to challenge the way the voting was carried out, or the method of districting, but if you don't participate in the process, you can't then point at it and say it lacks legitimacy. Not voting was your choice. It wasn't forced upon you.

So take a big dose of "getoverit" and move along. Maybe next time you'll understand that representative government requires participation.


[User Picture]From: darthfox
2005-02-02 10:15 am (UTC)
i read the same thing in the online post at apparently the same time you were reading the AP wire, and had the same reaction. in a democratic election, there's no such thing as a quorum. you say "boycott", i say "abstain"; let's not call the whole thing off, shall we?
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[User Picture]From: shawnj
2005-02-02 10:19 am (UTC)
What's really unfortunate is that the Sunni population boycotting the vote is one of the biggest reasons why I think that country is headed for civil war.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-02-02 10:48 am (UTC)
That is the frustration. It's bad enough here when the nonparticipants have only a TV remote and a loud mouth. There, it's all these guns....
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[User Picture]From: kenp_v3
2005-02-02 10:23 am (UTC)
Crazy. It's kind of a self-fulfilling prophesy isn't it? "This election isn't legitimate because *we* asked our people not to participate in them." Well why should I feel sorry for you then?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-02-02 10:46 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: dawntreader90
2005-02-02 10:28 am (UTC)
my sentiments exactly. here, there, and everywhere.

you don't vote? you don't bitch about the results from the people who did.
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[User Picture]From: shezan
2005-02-02 10:48 am (UTC)
Plus quite a few Sunni braved this idiotic dictate and participated. They win.
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[User Picture]From: kuangning
2005-02-02 11:01 am (UTC)
Meh. I'm inclined to think of this first elected government as a "first-run, to be scrapped" anyway. No matter who had won, some portion of the population would have refused to accept them, and matters were not and are not magically going to improve and war end just because they had their little election. It's far too complicated for that.

There's blood still to flow.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-02-02 11:11 am (UTC)
Oh, I know. It's just the dismissal of the process because they hadn't voted irks me. The issues are definitely complex, and aren't made easier by the number of people there who want to keep fighting.
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[User Picture]From: theferrett
2005-02-02 11:22 am (UTC)
Totally, utterly, undoubtedly with you.
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[User Picture]From: interactiveleaf
2005-02-02 11:45 am (UTC)
Eh. There were also a large number of reported cases wherein Sunnis (in primarily Sunni areas) showed up late to the polls and were turned away because there were no ballots left. apparently they realized late in the day that if they didn't vote, they'd lose--but then they couldn't vote.

OTOH, the gov't is also pointing out that a large part of the reasons there were no ballots is that election-day preparations were hampered by the heavy violence in those areas.

Unhappiness ensues.
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[User Picture]From: greybeta
2005-02-02 12:02 pm (UTC)
Well, here comes the hard part of the learning curve of representative democracy.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-02-02 12:07 pm (UTC)
Yup. That parts of it frequently suck, when you don't win. [g]
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[User Picture]From: zero_design
2005-02-02 12:15 pm (UTC)
First off - for the most part I agree with you - it does seem a lot like the two year old complaining about not getting desert after declaring he didn't want to eat cake.

think about the following hypothetical situation:

Secretly, the Vatican has amassed a huge army, which it uses to invade and conquer the US. After the dust sorta, kinda settles, they declare that they will be holding elections for Grand High American Poobah. This is going to be a 'fair' election they say - you're going to have a whole bunch of people to vote for. Of course all of these people will be good Catholic boys.

I think those folks who happen to _not_ be devout Catholics are acting quite reasonably when they boycott the election and at the same time say it lacks legitimacy for how it doesn't represent them.
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[User Picture]From: gailg
2005-02-02 12:50 pm (UTC)
One might argue that, if a particular, large block of people didn't vote, then then the results don't adequately reflect their views.

On the other hand, you might also argue that those who don't vote are essentially saying "I'll go along with whatever everyone else decides," and in that case, their views are vicariously reflected.
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[User Picture]From: rhapsody_98
2005-02-02 02:32 pm (UTC)
Eh, they'll figure it out after a couple more elections. The smarter Sunni's will decide that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
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[User Picture]From: adjust_56
2005-02-02 04:40 pm (UTC)
What a lot of people seem to forget over here is that for the last 30 years these people had no say in there lives. They were threatened, torture and members of their families where killed. This society has been driven by fear for a loooooooonnnnnnnggggggg time. We want them to understand democracy? How do you show a child learning to crawl how to run a marathon? Democracy is a process of evolution, and it does take time. These people are afraid that this "new" government is going to torture them because they have the same religion as Saddam, unlike our bible which says turn the other cheek their koran says an eye for an eye.
It is easy to say "getoverit and move along" when you have not had to suffer the pain and fear they have. It's going to take a lot of false starts. I can tell you that coming back to the states after living over there it took me 12-18 months not to flinch when I heard loud noises and I KNEW I was safe in the US. It still was emotionally very hard for me. These people don't know, these people have no idea what trust is, these people have a primary response of fear. How else can they act? I wish that going through this process would be easier, utopia would have been everybody vote and really believe their vote and their voice counts, unfortunately it is going to take a while to feel safe enough so that you don't shoot first then ask questions. If we are patient enough they might get it. I hope so, I have family over there. But only time will tell!
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