Thursday, January 27, 2005

Informed Comment --
Juan Cole writes:

There are, of course, lots of elections in the Arab world. Some are more rigged than others. But there are almost no elections where the sitting prime minister and his party would be allowed to be turned out unexpectedly by an unpredictable and uncontrolled electorate. If Iraqi interim Prime Minister Allawi's list does poorly and his political star falls as a result of a popular vote, something democratic will have happened in Iraq, for all the serious problems with the elections.

This is pretty much the thrust of the matter. No democracy is a true democracy unless it capable of handing off power to the opposition peacefully. The American Revolution was completed in 1800 when Thomas Jefferson displaced John Adams' regime. I might actually believe that that Iraq is slowly blossoming into a free and democratic state if that thug Allawi loses an election, even if he loses to a greater thug.
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