Iraqi Voter Turnout ” Iraqi independent election commission has said the turnout exceeded expectations and could be between 60 and 75 percent of registered voters.”
I had a conversation with myself this morning, something the mean, (partially) redheaded Yankee nurse claims I do frequently, including mumbling in my oatmeal. I asked myself if faced with the real threat of being bombed or killed would I have voted?
Personally, I’d like to believe that I would have but I (also probably) would have tried to talk my wife and my sons out of voting out of a sense of fear and (overly?) protectiveness towards my family.
Yesterday's voter turnout in Iraq, somewhere between 60 and 75% depending on the source, caused me to wonder about voter turnout in other countries. Here's a sampling from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance
· France - 2002 Parliamentary Election, 60.32%.
· Russian Federation - 1999 Parliamentary Election, 60.49%.
· Argentina - 2001 Parliamentary Election, 75.21%.
· Australia - 2001 Parliamentary Election, 94.85%.
· Brazil - 1998 Parliamentary Election, 78.51%.
· Canada - 2000 Parliamentary Election, 61.18%.
· Czech Republic - 2002 Parliamentary Election, 57.95%.
· Germany - 2002 Parliamentary Election, 79.08%.
· United Kingdom - 2001 Parliamentary Election, 59.38%.
· Poland - 2001 Presidential Election, 61.12%.
· India - 1999 Parliamentary Election, 59.73%.
· Israel - 2003 Parliamentary Election, 67.81%.
· Japan - 2000 Parliamentary Election, 60.62%.
· Italy - 2001 Parliamentary Election, 81.44%.
· United States - 2004 Presidential Election, 60.7%
If you’re curious about how other Middle Eastern countries stack-up go to the following links from the NationMaster
website: Government type Civil and political liberties Democratic institutions rating
I applaud the people of Iraq and I think the brave turnout indicated the level of intensity the population of Iraq have for self-determination; good for them.
I hope the naysayers and those who felt that the Iraqi couldn't handle democracy are taking note.
Even the Europeans viewed the election as a triumph and otherwise critical heads of states made several favorable remarks about the elections and the turnout.
The United States did a good thing and I'm glad.
I’m also glad I’m on the same side as the Iraqi voters.