Sunday, January 30, 2005
I did

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Ultimate Voters Guide

My company decided that it is better not to go to work till after the elections because of the increasing risk factor involved. Therefore, I’ll have a lot of spare time and amazingly enough, I’ve decided to write a post. so I sat down, started my computer, started the word processor and started gazing at the white page on screen.

As with what usually happens whenever I wanted to write a post lately (and which lead to me not posting), I started thinking why should I post? I know that you will say that it is useful to let others, specially the Americans, know what is really happening in Iraq, but is it really useful? How many people will read the post? And if all those people decide to do something for us, will they be able to? And if so, what is that thing that can help us? If I as an Iraqi don’t know, how will they?

Another reason preventing me from posting is that I’ve used my real name and that prevented me from writing some of the things I really wanted to. Maybe starting another blog with a false name is an idea worth considering.

One noble reason I keep convincing myself with is to let others see the true good side of Iraqis and Muslims that the ignorant Iraqis and Muslims are doing a very good job at destroying.

Enough with this discussion. I finally came to the conclusion that with so much spare time, posting is at least better than doing nothing or watching TV.

Attention: Complicated paragraph ahead. If you have a headache, just skip it.
Well the truth is that I do have much ‘scientific’ reading to do but I am being lazy and doing nothing or watching TV instead. So concluding that posting is better than being lazy and doing nothing or watching TV instead of reading which I should do, lead to me ending up posting instead of reading which in fact is more useful than posting! (I, on the other hand, have been reading ‘The ultimate hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy’ by Doglas Adams and this paragraph reflects my influence by his writing style. This novel is not what I was referring to by scientific reading – It will be useful though to write a post ‘The ultimate hitchhikers guide to Iraq’ since it is more dangerous and can be more adventurous than hitchhiking at the Galaxy).

So here is my long awaited post.

The ultimate question: “To vote or not to vote?” (I read this quote somewhere but I forgot where, I assume the source will not mind me using it)

Personally, I very much do want to vote, but up to this moment I have not decided whether I actually will. I think I’ll wait till the elections day, see how things will go and decide then. My family is afraid of voting and are asking me not to go fearing for my safety, but as I said, I have not decided yet.

Once I’ve read a very useful quote meaning that when you are forced to choose between two alternatives, choose the one that will not make you feel guilty or sorry if it turns out to be the wrong one.

Let’s apply this rule on ‘to vote or not to vote’.

If I choose ‘not to vote’, and the elections turned out to be successful, I might regret that I was not part of this process. This leads to the conclusion that I should vote.

If I choose to vote, and then something bad happens to me or to any of my family, I will surely regret my decision even if the elections succeed. This then means that I should not vote.
Oops, the rule does not apply on this case.

What complicates things is that the area I live in seems to be against the elections since one can hardly see any elections posters that I see in many other places in Baghdad.

But what if everyone thinks like me, Which means no one will vote and the elections will fail. Then I should vote to prevent that. But will my decision really have to do with that of any other? The answer is no (I forgot what this case is called in the probability theory – I think it was that my decision and that of any other is mutually exclusive). If this is the case, then I can ‘not vote’ since this will not affect the decision of others, and being one person whose decision ‘not to vote’ will not affect the whole process, then it’s safer not to vote. Problem solved. Unfortunately, I am still not convinced :(

Moreover, all the above discussion assumes that the results will not be tampered with, something that many doubt and say that the results are pre-set and have decided not to vote accordingly.

One thing you don’t know about me, is that I can keep on with such an argument for ever, but luckily for you, I will not.

Now a brief discussion about the nominated lists
There are 84 lists each list containing from 1 to more than 200 people, the total number of people in all the lists is about 7000 whose names was only published last Tuesday that is less than a week before the elections day and that is because the nominees were too afraid to declare their names.
Only the main 5-10 names in each list was declared from the beginning and it looks like that those top names are the only ones people are looking at.

I, Personally have a reasonably good knowledge of 7 of those 84 lists.

- The Independent Democrats List: Headed by Adnan Al Pachachi, who is an old politician and whose list contains an elite of educated Sunnis and Shias. So it can be categorized as a purely secular list. But unfortunately it is not a popular list for some reason that I don’t know of.
- The Iraqi Coalition (Al I’tilaf Al Iraqi) list: Contains the 4 major Islamic shiat parties in addition to some individuals and a minority of Sunni individuals. This list is informally backup up by Sistani and this qualifies it to take most of the Shias votes. Despite of the fact that those in the list deny this fact bu I think those in it are greatly influenced by Iran. I wish that I am wrong in this.
- The People’s Union list: This is basically a communist’s lists with a few other independent individuals. Surprisingly enough it looks like it is quite popular and according to many surveys it is expected to get between 17%-25% of the votes!
- The Kurdistan Coalition list: This is the main Kurdish list and is expected to get the majority of the votes from the Kurds.
- ‘The Iraqi List’: Headed by Ayad Allawi, a secular list that is not very popular because of Allawi’s failure to control things during the period he has been in power, but nevertheless surveys show that it might get about %10 of the votes.
- The Constitutional Monarchy list: Headed by Al Shareef Ali. A secular list that is not opposed by neither Sunnis, nor Shias, but also not popular.
- The ‘Iraqis’ list: Headed by Ghazi Al Yawir, the current president. Its name is very similar to that of Allawi’s. Also a secular list but again not very popular.

Surveys show these lists in the following order.
1- The Iraqi Coalition (Al I’tilaf Al Iraqi) list: about 35%-40%
2- The People’s Union list: about 17%-%25%
3- The Kurdistan Coalition list: about 10%-17%
4- Allawi’s list: About 10%
5- The other three lists did not get more than 3% of the votes each.

Unfortunately I support the three lists that took the least number of votes :(

I guess this long post may make up for me not posting for a LONG time.