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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Iraq: democratic elections « Previous | |Next »
December 5, 2003

I came across this Lehrer transcript, about the struggle over democracy in Iraq.(Link courtesy of Abu Aardvark.) The transcript offers more detail to this earlier post on the intervention of the Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani and his emphasis on the importance of democratic elections in the creation of a sovereign Iraqi government as it gives central political power, decentralized/regional political power based on ethnicity and a way to structure the relationship between centre and region.

John Quiggin has recently considered this issue. He favours a two-state solution, in which a Shiite majority ruled Iraq as a whole, while the Kurds maintained the effective autonomy they have now. I think that federalism is preferable.

Abu Aardvark and Juan Cole say that Sistani endorses a democratic political system (ie., sovereignty derives from the people and one person one vote) with limits; a limit to democracy is that the people must not legislate or adopt policy that directly contradicts Islamic law. An Iraqi democracy would be stuck with the "constitutional" principles of shari`ah or Islamic law.
The discussion has ben picked and taken further by Andy over at Baghdad Skies. Go read.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:40 AM | | Comments (0)