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18 October 2005
Juan Cole is concerned about the Iraq constitution vote

Suspicions of irregularities in the voting tallies being reported in some provinces in Iraq have provoked the Higher Electoral Commission to conduct an investigation. In six Shiite-majority provinces in the South, 95 percent or more of voters are reported as having cast votes favoring the constitution. The proportion of those voting "yes" was not in and of itself suspicious in those provinces, but the commission felt that anything over 90 percent should be looked at again.


The Washington spinmeisters who are trying to say that the mere fact of the Sunnis voting is a good thing, even if they voted against the constitution, do no know what they are talking about. Political participation is not always a positive thing. The Nazis after all were elected to the Reichstag. And Serbs consistently voted for Milosevic and other ultra-nationalists. Nobody in Washington thought it positive that Iranian hardliners came out in some numbers to vote for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Some elections are tragedies for a nation. This constitutional referendum was one of them.

I would add the tragic US Presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 to this list...

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