Monday, March 14, 2005

Democracy in Iraq

Juan Cole continues his commentary on the post election wrangling in Iraq.

Things are starting to look worrying, the two thirds majority rule in a divided electorate does strike me as foolish. Especially in an interim administration anyway.

As any fan of electoral systems will know, proportional representation has historically been the machanism by which divided polities have handled democracy - i.e. the list system was largely pioneered in Belgium, divided between the the Flemish and French speakers. The Anglo-American model was meant for a united polity simply deciding upon the best choice of its candidate, hence why it hasn't gone in for representative microcosms.

The other point about this, is how sordid the squabbling is, and how it is all about oil, or the profits thereof. Thousands mnore could die for this poison in the ground. I seem to recall a quote along the lines of nationalism is about who get's the post-master's job. With the squabbling over oil and places in Government, I'm reminded of this, as parties with (it seems) little local intrinsic support scrapping over placements.

Let's hope the March 16th meeting brings some sort of resolution, the last thing the workers of Iraq need is a full-on civil war.


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